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Crisis of Belief at the Children's Science Museum
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This morning I took the boys to the Science Museum. Also referred to as The Church With the T-Rex. I've said before I'm not social, and I detest 'playgroups.' I'd rather my kids' social skills be mightily compromised than EVER go to a playgroup. The mommmies drive me nuts.

So, needless to say, the boys and I went alone to the Science Museum this morning. Once there, I tried to stay away from the other mommies. They knew one another. I tried to not gag at the thought of being in the midst of a ... gasp! Playgroup. EW!

They looked too well accessorized to have young children that pull hair or jewelry. I don't trust that. Their mommy hair probably should have been a little wet and thrown into a ponytail - as was mine - and yet, no. They looked like Mommy Fashion Perfection, and this was at 10 a.m.

I disliked them instantly.

Aren't I kind?

But they were nice. Specifically, they were nice to me, and nice to my children, even though I tried to ward them off with my aloofness and 'dear GOD don't let them talk to me' prayers. I was doing okay until a latecomer to their group came over. We recognized one another, having been acquainted through a mutual friend years before.

She was so nice. I didn't want her to be nice. I didn't want her friends to be nice, and I didn't want to sit and talk to other mommies with Perfect Hair at 10 a.m., and then LIKE THEM. I did NOT want to do that. Not today, not any day, NO. THANK. YOU.

A group of them huddled too close for my comfort and discussed something. There was paperwork. And I got a little excited. A ha! They're really Mary Kay ladies, and that's what this is about. It's not a Playgroup after all! And everyone knows that Mary Kay ladies are always super nice, and that would explain it. (As a former, awful-at-it, mary kay lady i will tell you this: partly they're nice because they're nice. partly it's because they're sizing you up to join the ranks. beware.)

But I was wrong. I tried to scare them off by letting Caden-2yr's poo diaper linger in the air around us. They didn't care. They were utterly unaffected, and it was a rather strong one, even for him, I must say.

So when the poo didn't work, I told them I just took one of my kids to a residential treatment home in another state. HA! Now that's one I KNOW will get me judged and rejected from the Perfect Mommy Club! Except it didn't. One mom even had a similar experience, and poured support all over me while my mouth hung open. That was NOT supposed to happen. I was looking for some good old fashioned rejection, after all.

They work together in CHILDREN'S MINISTRY, and the paperwork had to do with that. Oh puh-lease. A playgroup of mommies with Perfect Hair at 10 a.m., AND THEY MINISTER TO KIDS. Could this group possibly be any more perfect? I said they were NICE, right? And not because they wanted me to join a multi level thing? And not scared by seriously strong whiffs of poo, or my impossible family issues? Gah.

My 'I HATE PLAYGROUPS' resolve was weakening, and I found myself with a genuine crisis of belief. For years I've upheld the playgroup ban. FOR YEARS. I've been committed. Steadfast. Dependable in my disdain.

And here comes a bunch of too-nice ladies chatting me up with no ulterior motive except...? 

Except to invite me to come next week. Same time. Same place. (Same Hair, I assume.)

I knew it was a critical moment. One mommy stood by the tank where the hermit crabs lived, and looked at me with hopeful eyes. (Yes, thank you very much, she DID stand near the HERMIT crabs, ha ha ha, that was not my subtle literary detail - that was all God's. Ha Ha, God. Too funny.) Another mom held on her hip a little girl with big blue eyes and the mom said, "Well...?"

I wondered why they cared. I don't have the Perfect Hair, and I don't believe in accessories. And they have enough estrogen in their group already without adding anymore. What's the point? I just don't GET women.

But then I thought of y'all. How I collect new mommy blogs in my bloglines compulsively. I try to keep up with 282 mommy blogs. Maybe I'm the one who just doesn't need to go looking to add any more to her 'social group!'

Y'all are my community, like the Perfect Hair Playgroup Members are for each other. I understood them a little more, thanks to you guys. I agreed to be there next Monday. I might even look forward to it. A little.

I did not, however, agree to the unspoken hair requirements. I have to maintain some boundaries, yaknow.

   

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Your Comments

Heather Said:

Don't ya know we all have Perfect Hair too? Mwahaha! (she laughs a half-crazed laugh, knowing her flat biking helmet hair would NEVER allow her into the perfect hair club, nor would her feeble attempt at perfect mothering)

I've worked full time throughout most of my kids' lives, so I have mixed feelings about the mommy club thing. Sometimes I'm insanely jealous of all the moms who get to hang out on a lovely summer afternoon, and sometimes I'm glad I don't have to live with that kind of pressure.

on Jun 12, 2006 10:11:37 PM
Stacey Said:

Good, I'm glad to hear you got out and met some new people. I know you always say how much you hate that kind of thing but have you ever stopped to think of how much you could offer them?? You are very smart and funny and have lots to give!!

on Jun 12, 2006 10:28:59 PM
Dabbling Mum Said:

First, I so have those kind of days you've just described! The days where you don't want to be friendly to a single living soul, and yet, those are always the days when God puts me on the heart of a friend and that friend's pushing totally lifts me up.

That "perfect little mommy group" may just be a group of women God's put in your path, to give you some inperson friendships. :)

Isn't it ironic that those who don't go looking for new friendships find them and those that long for them have trouble finding them?

Our online buddies are wonderful, and I can attest to the fact that we, "Can't live without them!"

on Jun 12, 2006 10:52:24 PM
Elena Said:

You are so funny and so honest.

I love it.

It's a momentous occasion at our house tonight. Andy is off playing Risk with the guys. Which means I'm not at my ballet class. But that's okay. Ballet class comes around every week. A social get-together that Andy WANTS to participate in? That happens, oh, once every 2-3 years.

Amazing.

on Jun 12, 2006 10:56:40 PM
Heather* Said:

Ha ha. I can relate. I'm glad you had fun (reading between the lines). LOL

on Jun 12, 2006 11:01:14 PM
Karen Said:

Wow. I avoid playgroups and playdates like the plague. I am looking forward to reading more about your further adventures. Maybe it will freshen my outlook.

on Jun 12, 2006 11:05:50 PM
mamakraft Said:

I am too overwhelmed to say much more than "I adore you!" ...
You are a walking, talking me … I don’t know if that is a good thing for you or not … but it works for me :D

on Jun 12, 2006 11:17:09 PM
owlhaven Said:

glad you met some new people!!

on Jun 12, 2006 11:21:07 PM
Lauren Said:

OH.NOOOOOOOO! From one crabby hermit to another, don't let them suck you iiiinnnnnn...

Glad you found some nice new friends but can't get over you read 282 blogs!!!!

on Jun 13, 2006 12:04:41 AM
Julie Said:

Where do you find the time to read 282 blogs? Yikes! I too am glad you found a group that MAYBE you might like. It is nice just to get together with other moms and share mom woes - in person.

on Jun 13, 2006 12:06:08 AM
oshee Said:

This is a great post. Isn't it wonderful how God takes care of you in ways you least expect?

I don't get the perfect hair thing either. I am spending every morning at a public pool. I sit with the same parents each day as we watch our 2 yr-olds scream at the swim teachers. But I swear those other moms have the most perfect hair. I don't get it. We're at the pool! I wear my hair up in a ponytail, with a huge 'ol sun hat covering me to the edges of my sunglasses.

282 blogs? Wow. I thought the 124 I try to keep up with was daunting.

on Jun 13, 2006 12:37:09 AM

Feeling a little less-than here: I think I read 28 blogs.

But you want to hear something really funny? I CRASH play groups! I've never been invited to one, and now my kids are too old, so I just go to have someone to talk to. LOL (Ours has a variety of hair. Mine's gray, but I sometimes pretend it's platinum.)

But I am finding myself less motivated as my Bloglines grows.

on Jun 13, 2006 12:47:48 AM
Mary Said:

awwww

Good for you!

They have a name too...Muffia.

seriously, do a search.

on Jun 13, 2006 1:26:20 AM
Diane J. Said:

Hey! Did THAT HOT PLACE freeze over and noone told me?! Because it almost had to've if Kelsey agreed to meet a group of women in a Social Setting and none of her kids is being held hostage as a bargaining chip! ;-)

I'm glad you're taking the opportunity to socialize a little more, Kelsey, and I hope you're feeling a little better, emotionally. :-)

on Jun 13, 2006 3:23:45 AM
Jeana Said:

I just love you! :-)

on Jun 13, 2006 6:13:01 AM
April Said:

Just wanted to add one little thought: Maybe the "Perfect Hair" thing is a sign of their own insecurities. Maybe they get up an hour before their kids evey morning, just so they can have time to do the hair and make-up and perfectly accessorized clothes, because they fear that if they aren't perfect they will be rejected by the other mommies. Maybe they need a Kelsey to show them how absurd that is and that they also can be accepted, wet ponytail and all. Maybe not, but it can't hurt to give them the benefit of the doubt, can it? (I mean, a little projection never hurt anyone.)

on Jun 13, 2006 7:12:51 AM
peach Said:

I am SO proud of you for agreeing to meet next week. You know we're all going to be praying you'll go through with it!

You are so precious, Kelsey, and I for one wished we lived closer so we could meet for mommy time while our kids played. I don't wear makeup or do my hair at 10 am either . . . at least most days!

God is good. He is giving you friends, even when you're shooting up prayers against that very thing. May this be a surprise God wink in your life!

on Jun 13, 2006 7:54:59 AM
aggiejenn Said:

So glad you're feeling "brave" enough to branch out. You will be blessed. And like April said, maybe they need you as well. (I'm sitting here with hair I washed last night and slept on and is semi-curly, semi-funky...just so you know.) :-)

on Jun 13, 2006 8:16:09 AM
Your Mother Said:

Yep. We're not supposed to be judgemental... My bugaboo was measuring moms with babies and toddlers by the shoes they wore. How could a good mama tend to little ones in shoes that weren't practical? Dress shoes to mother????? Forget the hair or the playgroups... if a mom didn't have the right comfortable, supportive shoes and look like she could get down on the ground to look kids in the eye or sit on the floor with a kid in her lap.... FORGET HER. And anything that had to be handwashed or drycleaned? A definite give-away for a signal to STAY AWAY.

Our own values seem to permeate how we look at the world. That we should be more open, less narrow, less prone to jump to conclusions...
Isn't that the message we are to be open to?

Motherhoode: lessons learned everyday. every minute.
Cheers.

on Jun 13, 2006 8:23:44 AM
Randi Said:

Ha! You social butterfly, you! I hope you enjoy your next meeting with the mommies!

on Jun 13, 2006 8:25:33 AM
Paula Said:

I could so imagine myself in your shoes. Great post! I felt like I was there with you cheering you on to stay away from that Mom's group, but in the end, I kinda liked them too. Especially for the way they treated you!

on Jun 13, 2006 8:30:59 AM
Mom Nancy Said:

There's Perfect Mommy hair???? Oh, nuts! I lived most of my 48 years with straight, undyed, parted in the middle and sometimes in a ponytail hair. Last month my cousin did my hair for my grandmother's funeral. As I'm completely uninterested in hair, I said, "do whatever." She gave me this cute bangs, feathered on the side thing that got me Ohhhs and Ahhhs from family. However, I see it creeping toward the parted in the middle thing and I KNOW ME and it'll be there soon.

I think this sounds like a super group of ladies. You'll be fabulous.

on Jun 13, 2006 8:55:37 AM
Maria Said:

sounds like you did have fun, glad that you agreed to meet again, I can't wait to hear about it next week.

I, too can't get over 282, are you pulling my leg? I though my 140 was too many.......

on Jun 13, 2006 9:29:08 AM
Lisa Said:

I am the same way. A loner mom. Do we all just resort to how we were in high school? Momhood is ver clique-ish...

--Lisa

on Jun 13, 2006 9:43:25 AM
Angie Said:

Perfect Mommy hair, yeah, I've seen the type.

I can't believe you read 282 Mommy blogs. Incredible! But good for you for getting out there and meeting some new women to fellowship with.

on Jun 13, 2006 9:47:19 AM