Sunday, January 18, 2009

"I like kids - I like my own kids, just not other people's."

That statement is great in theory, but not in real life. In real life, when you have kids of your own, other people's kids permeate your life regardless of your feelings about them. This begins even before your children are actually born. When Tom and I were pregnant with C, we were living in Germantown, a quiet area about 45 minutes outside of Bethesda where he was stationed at the Naval Hospital. He made friends with some other Hospital Corpsman whose wives were also due in April/May. We're best friends all of a sudden, discussing baby names and bottle vs. breast, picking out nursery colors and comparing baby bumps. Nevermind, that had we all not been pregnant, none of us would have given the other the time of day.

Then once C was born it's all play dates and park outings. It's having these women over for coffee so our babies can swap binkies and nap on each other's blankies (EWWWW). And this just continues on and on and on. More play dates and birthday parties and sleepovers. Making nice with parents and saying "Hi" to older siblings, just so my children can have friends too. Thankfully, I'm just a little bit better than this than my husband was. Not much, but, still, better.

Now, I still suffer through this with my youngest son, J. He's in second grade so I smile at the bus stop and buy Game Stop Gift Cards by the dozen (Spring and Fall are the worst for birthday parties. I try to smile over my coffee during Saturday soccer games. Ever since we moved to the new neighborhood, I don't fit in with the other moms. No husband, I don't yoga or jog, my usual company is my Dad or my baby sister, I don't own a designer dog - I do drive a mini van.
For a while, I thought I was in the clear with the girls. Yes, I meet their friends and boyfriends , but I don't really have to make nice with anyone. Lies, all lies. Because now they babysit. For a while C watched this little Hellion R who vibrated on my couch screaming for Dora - he ate carrots and counted to twelve in Spanish. And there's JM (whom I adore) that M watches on a fairly regular basis. She's bilingual (English/ Tagalog) and speaks very softly. She rarely smiles and she eats a lot of rice and ramen.


Needsleepy said...

Ii have to say that Ihave become more tolerate of other peoples children as the years gone by. When my sons we first born, other people's kids kinda annoyed me. As I found out about a year later, they were diagnosed with Autism. After that my patience for children is close to unlimited. It has helped with my realtionships with other children. Now I can't find a "playdate" for my kids to save my life. Schedules do not match up, is the most common excuse. I personally thik that other parents are scared to let my kids play with them....they are kinda rough, non-verbal, but are VERY sweet. I find myself alone alot with my kids. My heart gushed for you hun! Hang in there.

Wabbit88 said...

OMG I hate everyone else's kids too! Mine (someday) will be perfect. For now, I'll just babysit my nieces and send them back to thier mother when the cuteness wears off.