It was a Wednesday, the sky was overcast and there was an eerie feeling in the air as I was about to enter ‘The Playgroup’. The playgroup resembles that of a school yard as you figure out if you are one of the cool kids or not, whether you would be accepted or not. As you walk in the old timers huddle together like a pack of gazelles to figure out the new member. You are met with a hello form the ones designated to speak to you, but the others look on with confusion as they check not only your child out, but also you. I must say the playgroup I am in now is good, they speak to each other, there appears to be no clicks. So how does it work with the ones who have the clicks?
To me playgroup was going to be a place of like-minded parents all trying to get through the day, the mums would see you were new and welcome you with open arms. They know what it is like to be at home all day and finally find some solace with grown ups, they were all new once. This was not the case at all and I’ve tried out a few. As I walked in to one group it was made very clear that I was an outsider. I hear you are meant to give it time to be accepted in to what can only be described as some weird mummy cult. I considered it, but they were so off, bugger this. As they sat there in their little huddle, cackling over some arts and crafts pretending to be playing with their children, they looked at me, I smiled, and they smiled awkwardly back and looked away. So I thought to myself, try and make an effort.
Snack time came so I thought this would be an opportunity to talk to people. We would all be forced in to the same area, they would have no choice but to acknowledge me. All the while I kept my eye out for any strange drink being handed around, cults do like their kool aid. Finally a person sat next to me with their child, it just happened to be the only man on the place. Here was my chance, so I spoke to him, his wife then appeared as if she was some sort of sorceress, her feet never touched the ground, and the man didn’t answer, just looked on confused. The wife sat down and spoke, but it was more in the, I am his wife way, not a pleasant greeting. Yes my main goal of going to playgroup is to pick up a man, the only man there. I do like a challenge. So as I realised not to talk to these insane people, I looked around for another cult member to speak to, there were none, they were cackling away in a group, looking down on the table as the children ate. So I gave my child a few snacks and helped a few of the other children, still the cult members just looked down as the spoke to one another.
The obvious thing to do was to just carry on playing with my child, after all that is why I was there, mainly. So as we played matters were made worse by the fact my child was going through a hair pulling phase, the daggers bore into my head as the other cult members looked on in disgust. I mean you would never catch their child pulling hair. Well they weren’t but that is beside the point. As my child played, she was grabbing the other children by anything she could get her hands on. To her it was a game and she was laughing and giggling, to the mums this was another reason to display their disapproval. The scary thing is that they don’t actually speak, they just stare, and some may approach and remove their child, if this is the case I apologise. This apology is met with an awkward grin that states, you must control your child. So as I sat on my own watching my child play, I spotted another woman sat alone, I made my move, made the effort. As she was sat with her little boy, I spoke and she was pleasant back, I felt she had not succumbed to the cult status. She went on to tell me how much she loved the group, one thing I noticed was that no one had spoken to her so what was it that she liked. I was confused. She explained that her previous cult group asked her to leave because her child kept getting sick, not hard to find worse than that, only up from there. This cult let her stay so to her that was a win.
So as the morning went on for what felt like a year, I looked at my clock, had about 90 minutes left. Life is too short I thought to myself. As I looked around and realised I was surrounded by a bunch of people that I didn’t actually want to be associated with, I left. I made what I thought was an awkward exit, but nobody actually took any notice as I struggled to get out of the door with my buggy. I swore never to go back again. People say you have to give it time, but to be quite frank people shouldn’t need months to be polite, you either are or you are not. I would never act this way. So I found myself a new group which I like, they spoke to me on the first day and have continued to do so. In a nutshell they are normal people and in no way a cult.