Before getting into this blog post, I think I should explain exactly what type of mother I am.
I love my children to bits. I would do anything for them. Should I ever meet the man of my dreams, he would have to accept me and my children as a ‘job lot’. Where the kids are concerned, there is no compromise. They will always come first.
However, I am not a helicopter mother. I have no desire to get involved in endless school activities, competitive cake baking, or anything else that involves mothers becoming overly and unnecessarily involved.
That said, I wouldn’t want my kids to be excluded from any social activities, because I can’t be bothered to get involved. And so, when I was invited to go out and meet the local mothers from my son’s new school, I was more than happy to go. After all, Mums nights out at the previous school were usually a bit of a riot – but I realised that the new school has a very different dynamic!
Finally, the day arrived. I openly admit that I wasn’t looking forward to it. It was my ‘night off’ when the kids are at their Dad’s and quite frankly, I would rather have been going out with friends. Without wishing to sound harsh, I had met a few nice parents at the school, but, to be frank, most of them seemed… well… a little dull!!!
I arrived at the Tapas Bar 20 minutes late. I figured that if I was a little late, I could just sneak in at the end of the table, everyone would have had a glass of wine, have loosened up a bit, and maybe, if I was lucky, we would have a fun evening.
In my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined how the evening would go!
When I walked into the tiny restaurant, there was barely any audible conversation. It felt like a funeral wake. A bunch of women, who I realized were ‘my group’ were sitting around a long table. Not a bottle of wine was to be seen. Everyone seemed to be drinking…. water! I kid you not.
As I sat down at the end of the table, a very bossy officious woman handed me a marker pen and sheet of sticky labels.
Without so much as introducing herself, she demanded that I:
“Write your name and your child’s name on it!”
I did as I was told. And then I stuck the sticker on my top. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had to sit around displaying my name on a sticky label – but I know it’s been a very long time!
Having introduced myself to the mothers nearest to me, everything went very quiet. I was beginning to think it was going to be a very, very long evening.
Finally, someone at the other end of the table made the radical suggestion that we might order a glass of wine. A few brave mothers suggested that maybe they’d have ‘a glass’. And just as I was about to scream:
“For God’s sake, bring me a bottle and a straw!” some sensible woman suggested that we should just get a bottle of red and a bottle of white.
I could bore you with tales of the conversation – but will limit myself to my two favourites.
Bossy Woman, (the one with the labels!), having banged on about how important it is to learn Latin (I bit my lip!), actually started to speak in Latin. It was so pretentious and surreal, that I thought maybe someone had spiked my drink and I was just hallucinating!
And secondly, the very tall, extremely attractive, skinny mother, who didn’t look like she had even half a pound to loose, refused to eat and spent at least 15 minutes telling us all about her diet. I’m sure you can imagine how irritating, not to mention boring, that is, for women who are clearly not built in quite the same mould!!
Then, as abruptly as she had handed me the sheet of stickers, Bossy Woman stood up and announced that the evening was over. (By which she actually meant that she was going home!).
A few other mothers left at the same time and the rest of us, whilst hardly having a wild time, did have a nice chat for a short while, whilst finishing our drinks.
As I stepped back into my house, the night still young, and me still sober, I consoled myself that I had done ‘the right thing’ and would at least wake up without a hangover.
On reflection, it made me laugh to myself that there has been no rush to organize another night out!
I did my bit, behaved myself, and most importantly, my child knows that I went for him!