Friday, June 15, 2007

Socially awkward

Evan has reached that odd age where he is old enough to independently cook up elaborate play date plans with school friends but not yet old enough to attend said play dates independently. "Davin's going to come over to our house next week for a play date," he'll sing out gleefully as I greet him at the classroom door, leaving me little choice but to follow up with Davin's mother to arrange such a rendezvous and then chat politely with her while the kids play.

I hate this stage. I rarely actually hate the play dates themselves... most of the other mothers I've been forced into this kind of socializing with have turned out to be completely lovely and I've struck up some nice friendships of my own in the process of tending to my children's social lives. But the actual coordinating and planning and making sure the house is tidy and figuring out what to feed everyone for lunch is just the kind of Emily Post crap that makes me wonder why the hell I ever wanted to be a stay at home mom in the first place.

Everything about these awkward social situations is uncomfortable for me, but the worst part is always placing the phone call to a parent I don't really know to set the whole thing up. I dread picking up the phone, always procrastinating and putting off that stiff, uneasy conversation for as long as I can. Whenever possible, I hide behind the anonymity of email or the ease of an outside-the-classroom-door conversation. There is little worse, I've always thought, than calling parents I don't know on my kids' behalf.

I was wrong. There is something worse. Today, after weeks of begging on Evan's part and a mind numbing "Tristan, Tristan" chant that clearly wasn't going to let up until I had concrete proof of a planned get together, I placed a call to a woman I've only even laid eyes on once or twice in my life. And because my kids' silly school refuses to put parents' names on class lists, I actually had to say "hello, is Tristan's mum there please?" I have never felt more foolish.

On the up side, I suppose all of the social awkwardness of the situation can only be attributed to "Evan's mum." Maybe there's something to this school's anonymity policy after all...


Blogger Kristy said...

That is totally weird. Totally. Granted, I guess I shouldn't say anything, given the fact that I call *myself* Evan's mom or Zoe's mom half the time. And hell, once upon a time I was known as Cal's mom (our dog). Yeah, I'm socially adroit.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I started up a playgroup once with women I barely knew and we turned out to be great friends. But there were just 4 of us. Bigger than that is too much for me.

The nice stage is when they're older, like my daughter's age, 8. Now the parents just drop them off and go run errands, or they go home from school together or something. Much nicer!

10:18 PM  

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