I’m going to playgroup!!!!
Eek, I’m going to an actual playgroup, you know, where there are other *whispers* ….mums.
Dollop turns 2 in 2 weeks, and so far, other than Mini, she has had virtually no interaction with other little people. How on earth have I managed that??? How could I have kept my beautiful baby on her own for 2 years? How have I kept her amused by myself for 2 years? How am I still sane???
Our parent supporter feels it’s important for me to now get out of the house, away from the place where so many challenging and hard things happen. She feels I’d benefit from speaking with other parents and picking up other strategies for dealing with things. And she feels like I’d benefit from timeout and just being me. And there is the obvious aim of getting Dollop mixing and socialising with other toddlers. I agree. I know all of this to be true. I know (and hope) that sometimes lifelong friendships are made at toddler groups and playgroups. Indeed, my mum and her best friend met 30 years ago when I was at toddler group!
But I’m nervous. This is because I never felt able to take Mini to a toddler group. I felt that I’d be walking in with a ready made toddler, no birth stories to relay, big sign on my head warning other mums that I was ‘different’, I thought I’d stick out like a sore thumb.
I did manage to go once, to a group recommended by another adopter, but I was so nervous, that I only talked to the other mums I knew to be adopters too, and it was all I talked about. So instead of blending in, I made it blindingly obvious that I was indeed different, and was so embarrassed by my own behaviour, I never went back. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not embarrassed about adoption, I just don’t want people’s pre-conceived ideas about adoption kicking in before they get to know me and Mini. So that was that. To socialise Mini and prepare him for school, he went to nursery instead, which actually was the best choice for him in the end.
So now, my fear about not having a birth story is irrational. I do have Dollop’s birth story. But I’m worried about the questions I’ll get about my family. I’m worried all the other mums will already know each other. I’m worried that I’ll have nothing in common with anyone (except for an ability to change a nappy in 60seconds flat!) I’m worried that Dollop with be overexcited and naughty. I’m worried that Dollop will be shy and cling to me the whole time. Yes – I’m a bit mixed up about the whole thing. Getting myself in a tizz about it! Parent supporter is coming with me though…she’s going to do the hard bit – the walking in to a room full of mums – with me. Phew!
So keep your fingers crossed for me. I’ll report back when I’ve worked up enough courage to actually go, and not bottle it!