Tuesday 9 November 2010


I took the King to his first baby group. Actually it was described as a first time mother’s group, so I’m sure the King would have been just as happy to stay at home. It was at this community center that does its best to provide a variety of activities for mothers who they can tell need a break from the four walls of their new mothering world.

Upon entering the room, I was greeted by a woman offering me scones and tea. I have to say I thought to myself at that precise moment, god bless England. I mean seriously, how civilized. I wasn't sure if the woman was innocently offering them, or if she could tell I really needed a sugar boost by the dark circles under my eyes. In the group were about ten mothers of various ages – I swear one woman was in her fifties, but who am I to judge – and one dad who looked mildly in shock to have been roped into such an activity. Of course on a giant blanket were eleven babies (a set of twins) all squirming on their backs like little turtles trying to right themselves and crawl the hell out of there.

So after the lot of us shoveled in our scones and tea (if you want to see women eat like men, deprive them of sleep) we did the customary introductions, ‘hi my name is, this is the King, blab la bla, and then of course shared our babies age. That is when I heard a collective gasp from the group as they stared at my large bundle of royalty. Let’s just say that the King is a full-bodied, German Shepherd with a Don King hairdo compared to all their little balding Chihuahuas. I of course whispered to the King that he should exhale deeply, puff up his chest and rock his size, as he does so well. He’s at the age where he listens to some of what I say. I plan to take full advantage of this whilst it lasts.

I then of course played my favorite game of trying to figure out how close to the new mother ‘I think I’m losing my marbles’ edge everyone was. It is mean I admit, but it makes one feel much better about their own plight. Good indicators of this are if they showered before coming, what they managed to throw on – and if it matched – was their hair brushed or was there food from breakfast stuck on their faces. You know, the usual, ‘I’m in rush, I have a kid wailing in the other room, but I haven’t eaten a real meal in days, so this oatmeal is going down the gullet.’ And there were of course a few that lived up to this, to my delight, although more of the group leaned towards the hippie-trippy moms that looked like they just wrapped themselves in a colored caftan and were happy to do so. They of course also had rainbows shooting from their eyes as they waxed on about how utterly delightful they still found breast feeding. 

I of course remained shtum as I whipped out an evil bottle of formula and stuffed it in the King’s mouth. We then opened the discussion on the topic of the day; to be honest, I can’t really remember…I think it had something to do with feeding one's baby or if they’re sleeping. I mean seriously, there's not much else to discuss when it comes to these little creatures. Of course some women had champion sleeping babies – I made sure to give them a good measure of attitude and ambivalence...'Oh yeah, well WE don’t want to sleep thru the night, so there. So much good TV on at those late night hours;' and others had babies that never slept. I made sure to share my scones with those women.

I suppose the nicest thing about groups such as this, aside from the fact that they still exist despite the slash and burn climate of our government, is that every woman in the room whether or not they felt totally in command of their new role as caretaker, secretly knew that they were not; and hence, why we were all hovered together on top of a satin blanket watching our turtles squirm, sharing stories from the trenches. 

The King also told me they are serving cookies and hot chocolate next week (he's not only big, but smart with a keen sense of hearing). We are there!
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