Mum and toddler groups. Hmmm. Yep, I know. I had a lot of preconceptions of what these were like before I had a child. Images of a lot of glazed over women that needed to go back to work and get a good sleep/shag came to mind. They would be run by an overexcited female in her late 20’s, early 30’s that did a performing arts or drama degree at University and doesn’t have a great sense of humour but really wishes she’d just “had a go” at an acting career. When you walk in all eyes will be on you. You are judged on how you are dressed, how your child is dressed, whether you’ve lost all the weight and how well you’re doing at said weight loss when they look at the age of your child. You sit in a corner or the wrong place ie. Astrid always sits there with her NCT friend, sporting a fresh shellac mani. There is one Dad who has had a day off and is hugging a flat white whilst checking work emails. And then the class starts and you have to hold a rattle or shaker that has seen better days and may or may not have seen a Dettol wipe….
And guess what…I was absolutely right. I hate them. Having taught early years I know that having parents in the session is just awful. Half the time they are all catching up with each other, having a ruddy good chin wag during the dancing bit when you need them to watch their sporn so they don’t twat their heads on the stack of tables in the corner. Meanwhile, you’re busting your arse entertaining their little shits with Dingly Dangly scarecrow and they’re talking about kids yoga and the skiing holiday they’ve recently had in Verbier. But from the other side, being a participating parent, they truly are hideous. I used to go occasionally to one when small person was a baby but I couldn’t go a lot of the time as I went back to work properly after a matter of months of her shooting out of my foof. Every cloud.
When we moved house I thought that I had better make an effort and go along to one of these ruddy things to make friends and also my daughter is at an age where I thought she needed to be stimulated at every second of the day. Oh God. It was just… urgh. It cost me £6, I was hounded out for wearing Tu pretty darn quickly and I was the only one without a facial peel or a personal trainer. I also sat in the wrong place. Silly me for placing my cellulitey arse cheeks between two women that were NCT mates. What a twat I was. (I tried going the next week and the bastards ignored me). I was the only Mum that sang along properly with full belt and chest voice but the main thing is that my kid hated it. Now, she’s usually the first one up on the dance floor for Wind the Bobbin up, but some little sod had pulled a rattle out of her paws and she’s far too polite to smack him in the face. He had also pushed her out of the way during bubble time. I have tried some other groups and I always just stand around on my own making sarcy quips which the other mothers think are weird or plain offensive so I have finally made the decision to fuck it. Fuck ’em. I would rather spend £6 at Toddler Gym where my daughter charges around and crashes into shit. She’s not learning rhymes or poetry, she’s not catching norovirus from a rattle and she’s not being smacked in the face by Tarquin. I feel quite liberated. Anyway, she goes to loads of stuff with our two amazing childminders so a day with Mama is going to be a quieter, simpler affair from now on.
We go to a café for a “cino” as she calls it (she’s so frickin Surrey) and consume lots of cake. We make a shop out of the laundry horse with Daddy’s pants hanging up on it. We dance like idiots to show tunes and Nelly the Elephant (The Dolls version). We go to the park where she can run and shout meow at small dogs and really offend the owner. We look at planes, ducks, geese and sneak up on deer using imaginary binoculars. Walk through dog shit (bloody dog owners), carry round shitty wipes until a bin is found and play with sticks and eat the dirt off the end. Now that’s what I call entertainment. No bubbles, no crap renditions of over sung kids songs and no vile children picking on my first born. Yes- poo to toddler groups. Poo I say. Run free my friends, run free!