Tales from Mommy Group
When I had a 2-year-old and a newborn, I went to my first “Mother’s Group.” I was skeptical about hanging out with women I wouldn’t normally interact with but for the fact that we all gestated concurrently. I made a mental note to research if that’s how female chimpanzees found their friends.
Still, I forced myself to go. According to “research,” mom groups offer support, friendship, and empathy! I also figured it was unhealthy for me to be home alone all the time breastfeeding, telling my toddler to stop stripping, and getting teary-eyed over Designing Women reruns.
Alexandra, Jenny, Muriel and I all met up at Alexandra’s house. First, we compared our kids’nap schedules. When I said that my daughter kept getting out of bed and wouldn’t nap, Alexandra said, “Oh. She’s in a big girl bed already? We thought about doing that with Aidan, but we decided we want him to feel secure.”
I wasn’t sure how to respond to that. Especially since Aidan was 5. I considered saying, “Oh, did I mention that my daughter’s big girl bed is outside? We decided we want her to feel as insecure as possible, so we just let her fend for herself in the backyard all night.”
But then Jenny piped up: “I had to put Jaden into a big boy bed even though he’s only 13 months old. His motor skills are so advanced that he kept climbing out of his crib and making me breakfast in bed! And really, Eggs Benedict every day was just too much.”
“We don’t let our kids sleep in manufactured cribs,”said Muriel. “I heard about a kid who licked his crib and died from some rare laminate-allergy. We hand-hew pallets for our kids out of recycled birch trees.”
Then we compared our kids’ artwork.
“Jaden just received his early acceptance to the Rhode Island School of Design!”Jenny squealed. “His Play-doh sculptures are so advanced.”
“We thought about doing that with Aidan,” said Alexandra. “But we decided to let him make his own life choices.”
“We don’t let our kids use Play-Doh,”said Muriel. “I heard about a kid who stuck some up his nose and inhaled a chunk into his brain and died. We have our kids do artwork with homemade flaxseed paste.”
Then we compared potty training prowess.
“Jaden potty-trained in the womb!”said Jenny. “It was amazing. During an ultrasound, he pantomimed wiping himself and pulling on a pair of underwear!”
“We thought about having Aidan potty train early, but we decided we didn’t want him to feel pressured,”said Alexandra.
“We don’t let our kids wear diapers,”said Muriel. “I heard about a kid who got diaper rash and it got so infected that they had to remove one of his buttocks and during surgery he died.”
I really wanted to leave, but I figured the socialization would be good for my toddler. I looked over to where she was playing. Jenny’s son was taking a dump next to the toy kitchen. Alexandra’s kid had my daughter in chokehold. And Muriel’s kids were frenziedly licking every plastic toy they could get their hands on.
I got home just in time for Designing Women.