Don’t worry. There’s no need to report me. I’m not about to make some kind of sinister revelation about my relationship with my kids; I can assure you that when I recommend taking advantage of the little peole in your life, I do mean it in the best possible way. And by little people, I mean your kids. Oh, never mind.
I’ve had a post on the tips of my fingers for a while now and when I read Kate’s post, Supporting Role over on the 5F’s, it prompted me to get it written. In my comment to her post, I described children as ‘friendship starters’, much like fire starters if you will, but without all the pyrotechnics and that. Let me explain:
The night I went into labour with my son, there was a fine dusting of frost on the roads; it glittered a little, like icing sugar on a bun. By the time we left the hospital, the frost had turned to ice and by the end of the week, the big one was going to school for the last day of term in a Snow White dress and wellies. The snow was here. And it stayed for WEEKS. Coupled with an incredibly painful c-section wound, the snow made venturing out of the house almost impossible- I couldn’t drive, the pram couldn’t cope and the sling terrified me. We were house prisoners for four weeks and it wasn’t a lot of fun. By the time the snow thawed enough to make human contact possible once more, the baby blues had taken ahold and I was finding myself having to make a decision-
Did I really want to spend the rest of my maternity leave on my own with the baby because coffee mornings sounded naff, or was I going to bite the bullet and -duh duh duh!- go to a baby group?
Thankfully, I decided to brave it and I have never looked back.
I used my baby to my own advantage. I took him to an NCT group and used him as a conversation starter. It was shameless. He was my pawn in making friends and I don’t regret it one bit; I would do it all again. He didn’t do a lot anyway. For the first eight weeks or so he and about six others born at the same time just slept in their car seats for the entire duration of the group. Occasionally, he would wake up and scream/ vomit/ poo but mostly he slept. As time went on, he did more entertaining stuff but he didn’t really need to. The deal was sealed: I had left the house and made some friends.
Since that first brave outing, my son and I have been to many othe groups and I have mercilessly used him to make friends. He is an ice-breaker, a converstation stimulator and the best excuse to hide behind when I’ve forgotten to put make-up on (I’ve been up half the night, etc etc).
So that’s how I’ve been using my children to my own advantage. It helps no end that he looks cute too. People just can’t help commenting and you know what? Coffee mornings are so much fun when you have a little person to brag about/ laugh mildly at/ moan about/ cuddle.