Story Value

random musings and episodes from the life of a 40 something comidienne/corporate refugee/mom - since whatever doesn't kill you provides excellent story value.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Square Peg at the Playground

Today we had a pre-first grade playdate with all the other kiddies & mommies at the playground. I was reminded, again, of how much I don't fit in with the stay-at-home crowd.

Oh, I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover and you never know how alike you may be deep down ... but I'm pretty sure my kid was the only one who was eating a frozen pancake while wearing a tin-foil hat on the way over.

The frozen pancake honestly can't be chalked up to negligent parenting; my boy prefers them frozen. And the tin foil hat -- hand made. I don't think he's schizophrenic, though maybe I'll have him checked. He does commune with aliens, but we've been chalking that up to a colorful imagination. At what point does that veer into diagnosable mental illness?

I guess tin foil hats, like chubby dimpled thighs, are cute until 5th grade - and then you're just fat and creepy. Pity the kid who is sporting both.

Once we arrived at the playground, we left the foil hat in the car and joined our playmates and play mommies.

Some of the other moms are neighbors and I was glad to chat with them since I always feel slightly guilty and sad that I don't know them better. They seem to have their own stay-at-home clique and, as a worker-bee, I'm usually excluded.

I work from home many days, but I can see the full-timer moms are wary of committing their energies to me, sensing that I might turn on my high-heel any time, grab my briefcase and leave them high & dry on the day its my turn to host coffee.

They sense I'm a love 'em & leave 'em play-date player, apt to mosy on as soon as I got a better offer in a conference room with Powerpoint. True dat.

What can I say? I'm just not cut of the same cloth. I don't care that much about organic cleaning supplies, who's had BoTox, or what's on sale at the Christmas Tree Shop. OK, I totally want to know about the BoTox, but I don't know who they are gossiping about.

I don't apply the same level of energy to analyzing the first grade teachers, classroom composition or anticipating the homework amounts. FT moms think about these things ... a LOT. They apply a level of strategic thinking I've seen only on reality TV shows, and in the office. I was impressed, and yet bored. I was boredpressed.

Fortunately, there was a crisis to divert my attention. The FT moms had all thought ahead to pack coolers full of snacks and beverages. I did not. It was a 10:30 playdate -- that's between meals!

My boy was unpsyched. "I'm hungry and thirsty!" He yelled. "Ummm, you have any of that frozen pancake left in the car?" I asked. I got an eye-roll.

All around me, moms were plying their children with whole-grain crackers, fruit juice sweetened cookies, and juice boxes. I got the pity offer from a couple moms. "We have some extra, if your son needs a snack."

Instead, I whisked him off the playground to the nearby French bakery where Captain Fancypants eyed all the treats, settling on an Orangina, a Quiche Lorraine and a mini-eclair -packaged elegantly to-go.

We made quite the return entrance as Andrew marched back to the picnic table and set out his array of delights. The other kids oohed and ahhed and immediately started demanding better snacks like Andrew's. He gloried in his fancy treats while the other kids simmered and the mothers rolled their eyes.

I just shrugged and smiled apologetically and then began checking my Blackberry, like a nervous tick.

On the way home I wore the tin foil hat. Who knows, maybe the aliens are more my cup of tea.


Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

You're very laid-back, like a mother gorilla. You child will learn to be self-reliant and develop jungle survival skills.

5:19 PM  
Blogger suebdo said...

I only wish it were easier to pick out their grubs for back-to-school photos.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Hey, I'm an FT mom, and I don't think I'm boring. Or maybe I am now, and I'm just too boring to know it! Scary thought.

And I do think I talk a lot about school stuff. It was my mom's thing; now it's my thing. I do try to provide healthy snacks (though yours sound way better.)

Now I'm all paranoid. :)

I would still try to entice you into my clique, though, Blackberry and all. ;)

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Violet said...

Grubs add character. Don't let the stay-at-homes change your natural ways!

7:48 PM  

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