I feel like a very crazy part of parenthood that does not get enough attention is the complete awkwardness associated with child-induced forced adult interaction. Don’t get me wrong, some of it is great. I have met some of my now very best friends as a result of my offspring--but we all know it’s true, doing the “Hi! How are you? How is Johnny liking school this year?” dance just requires more energy than I have at this stage in the game. And I think some people think that I am totally comfortable in these situations. I am not. Matt is. He’s a super confident social weirdo who navigates conversations with ease. I am secretly a big hermit crab trying to crawl back into my shell ninety-nine percent of the time, and as a result I end up overcompensating with loud talking and weird jokes and when I leave I feel like I ran a 10K while doing advanced calculus.
And kindergarten is where this shit gets real. Preschool I was able to keep my head down and limit playdates to my best friends’ kids. How convenient that my little cutie and your little cutie are besties and we can hang out and chat and eat their cheese-its while they play! Well, turns out once they are exposed to a bigger pool of potential playmates, my besties are in the backseat and I am sitting in my living room eating pretzel rods with Jimmy’s mom saying things like, “Have you noticed the pollen is really crazy this season?” I mean it’s awesome that my little whacko is having fun with his new friend but now I am on my own weird friend-date with a stranger and I didn’t even have the chance to swipe left.
And on top of the one-on-one shit, you also have PTO meetings, open-houses, school concerts, and birthday parties. OH SWEET JESUS the birthday parties. And before I get my kids dis-invited to the next million please let the record state: It’s not you, it’s me. It’s very, very ME. I just cant get comfy during these weird social gatherings where a bunch of six-year-olds jump around on blow up slides and castles in carpeted rooms and me and a group of adults I don’t know get shuffled through the rooms for two hours while I try to make small-talk and all the while I just want to fade into the neon wallpaper and call it a day. And then I eat pizza standing up while I try to stop my kid from putting a Juicebox straw up his nose while simultaneously talking to Karen about her new kitchen lights. I literally refused to tell Rex about one of these parties, just to be punched in the metaphorical dick when he jumped in the car after school super excited about the party that was in (ahem) an hour, forcing me to throw out a (very) last minute “yes” rsvp. Poor Tommy got one of Rex’s well-loved toys wrapped in Christmas paper. Lesson learned.
The good news is, drop-off-life is right around the corner for Rex. See ya later! Have fun bouncing! I’ll be online shopping in the parking lot next door sipping on a my obnoxiously-long-named latte living out my secret-introvert dreams! Too bad I still have Rocky and Bizzy. Would a playdate/birthday party stand-in-parent be weird? If not, I’m accepting applications.
And just wait until all those long hours in the bleachers together watching our kids do whatevertheactivity…who the heck is gunna wanna sit next to me now?!