Friday, May 13, 2011

Looking for Friends

Peter had his first library Story Time yesterday. I was very disappointed. It was scheduled to run from 10:30 to 11:00 and was to include a few short books and a number of songs and nursery rhymes. It lasted about 12 minutes, which was actually a relief. The lady leading the group cannot carry a tune in a bucket and has no sense of rhythm. I wonder if she had ever heard these nursery rhymes before.

I enrolled Peter in this group last week and have been looking forward to it since then. I wanted to give him an opportunity to interact with other kids and hoped to meet some other moms who don't work during the day. As we left the library, I was reminded of my first day of classes at college. I had expected social interaction, but instead everyone filed in, sat through the class, and filed out again. No one was unfriendly or exclusionary, but I didn't even learn the names of any other parents.

Part of the problem is that, as previously mentioned, I am exceedingly introverted by nature. I have no idea how to start a friendship based on our kids. There was another little boy at Story Time who is not even two months older than Peter (I heard his mom tell someone else his age). I think they would enjoy each other's company. But I feel so uncomfortable introducing myself and it would be rather odd to say, "Hi, can our kids play together some time?"

I realize that I have to overcome my discomfort in order to give Peter social opportunities. As much as my husband and I love him, we are not peers. When we got home, I looked for some playgroups on MeetUp, but the only ones accepting members emphasized how they want to build a close community of parents and foster lasting friendships. That's not actually what I want. I just want someone who might meet me at the park so our kids learn how to play with each other. Maybe I'll start my own -- "Moms who love their kids but don't want new friends." What do you think? :-)

5 comments:

  1. I'm guessing if you started going to a playground or playplace around the same time every week you might connect with others who go at the same time, too? Or you could try a swim class or baby sign class or mom and baby yoga or something? I find those tend to be smaller groups of moms who have your same intent, as opposed to something free at the library that many go to just to pass the time or get their kids exposed to reading....(I know when I've gone to the library for story time most of the kids were in the charge of nannies!).

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  2. Ooh, playground time is a good idea, especially now that it's finally warm. We did do swim class over the winter, but it was a similar dynamic as story time, parallel play. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  3. You start the conversation by saying, "my your child is certainly alert, and she seems interested in everything...." at which point the other Mom/Dad will say, "yes, she's always been advanced for her age..." Well that's the idea. The good part of these casual meetings is you can decide if you even WANT your child (and you)involved with these folks. They meanwhile can make the same decision about you. Remember a sure conversation starter is to ask someone to talk about her/his child.

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  4. You are so aware of your own values and what you are about, but not every mother is. Like you, I was eager with my firstborn to find other children to interact with. The problem was that I found very few families who were as connected to their values as we were. In other words, the best way I could find for my growing daughter to 'make a friend' was to make one for her--by gifting her with a little sister!

    You might try attending La Leche League meetings where there are likely to be other mothers who share some of your values.

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  5. @Mom: Thanks! We have story time again on Thursday, I'll try to work up the nerve to start a conversation.

    @Patti: Perhaps God will see fit to send a playmate for Peter, as well! I did try the closest LLL meeting, but it was very poorly attended. There are some others in the local metro area, though, so maybe I'll try again. Thanks!

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