Oscar and I went to our first real play group this week. And it was not at all what I expected.
I'm not sure what I was expecting. Five or six women discussing vaccinations and which candidate deserved the mom vote, occasionally mediating toy disputes and kissing little boo-boos. Maybe with some Laurie Bernker in the background. Possibly, this is a pipe dream.
What I got was somewhere in the neighborhood of ten plus moms, with 15 or so kids, ages from two months to two and a half years. The majority of kids were either much younger or much older than Oscar. There was only one kid of comparable age, and he and his mom were great. But there were toddlers running everywhere, almost colling with the my son and the other crawler and taking their toys. There were toys with small parts EVERYWHERE. It was like a mine field for Oscar.
Also, most of the other moms seemed to already know each other, and didn't really seem interested in knowing me (other the the mom w/the similar aged baby.) Given the ages of most of the kids, these women have probably been having play group for one to two years. I was obviously the newcomer and I hardly felt welcome.
I'm not trying to flame the woman who hosted the play group - she was also pretty nice. And, by the end, I'd spoken with two other moms who were pretty nice. But I don't think play groups are for me. I think I'm much more of a play date kind of mom - just a few other moms and their kids. More relaxed, less busy.
Above, a photo of Oscar and his friend Gideon on a play date a few weeks ago.