Either I'll become social or...

I'll continue to hide from strangers. (And talk about them on the Internet.)

We went to the park a few days ago. When we arrived there were several Moms, all whom had other mom companions. We arrived just before lunch since we were going to have a picnic. All the mothers did there motherly stare down at which point they decide who I am, what I am about and whether or not I'm worthy of a hello.

Okay, so maybe that stare down thing is just my imagination running wild but it sure feels that way.

Let me start by saying, I keep to myself and have not one single friend within a 30 mile radius of my house. Okay, so maybe that makes me sensitive to other mothers who actually have friends. Whatever. That is so not the point.

Also, until 30 days ago I didn't need any friends. In fact, I didn't have time for any friends. Clearly, now? I'm desperate. But, that desperation is for another post.

First, I need to tell you about the playground. The ever loving playground and the mommy's who lurk there... a recap if you will.

The Nanny's. Hard to spot at first glance because you never just want to assume a young woman couldn't possibly be that cute and trendy whilst wiping bottoms and cleaning up drool without pay. A few trips to the park and you can quickly tell a Nanny from Mom just by her cell phone. Generally speaking a mom will not sit on a park bench with another mom and talk and text on her cell phone whilst corralling two toddlers. Not that any mom is not capable of that kind of multitasking. It's just when a mom gets another real mom in front of her, you know, someone who uses complete sentences, she will give that non-toddler non-drooling woman her almost (because one eye is always on the babes) undivided attention.

The Older Mom. This is the mom who, for whatever reason, decided to wait to have a family until the very last possible second. (I get that it isn't always a choice, quit hating.) For whatever reason the area I live in is full of this mom. This mom is often a first time mom who, because of her age, suddenly knows everything that is best for your child even if you didn't ask. For some reason this mom makes me the most nervous. Maybe it's because some of them are old enough to be my mom. Or, maybe because I suddenly feel like a teenager who has two toddlers waiting to be reprimanded. I find the best way to deal with this mom is to avoid eye contact at all costs because I can't handle feeling like a teen.

The Know It All Mom. This mom closely resembles the Older Mom but only with more youth and less tact (if that's possible) and access to the Internet. This mom generally travels alone and is the first one to start a conversation.

TKIAM: Oh, I see your child has a drink.

OCC: Hot out today. (Notice the slight change in subject.)

TKIAM: You know, breast milk is best.

OCC: Uh, huh. (Doing my best to not sound interested.)

TKIAM: The WHO recommends that baby's be breastfed until the age of 2.

OCC: Yeah. It's just water. From a cup. Because it's hot out and it's the Park. (Speaking slowly. How dare she assume I don't have the Internet. Slightly annoyed, walking away.)

TKIAM: (Following) Well I guess water is better than juice.

OCC: Uh, huh.

TKIAM: And way better than formula.

OCC: (PISSED) Look, she's still breastfeeding and will be 2 next week and for your information she was fed formula for the first day of her life. Do you see 4 eyes? Horns? (Yeah, I see the horns too but that's not from the formula.) I think it's great that you are spreading the word. I already have this information. Thank you. (Grabbing both children suddenly needing to go potty.)

Yeah. She's pushy AND wants everyone to know about her knowledge. I generally can forgive this mommy for being outgoing with her information since she thinks she is doing a good thing. But, she needs to back off. You know, I might even like this mom if she would just chill the eff out.

The Mom Who Tries Too Hard. This is the mom who when she packs a picnic for the park it is not in a grocery bag or reusable sack. No, it's in a picnic basket, you know, with plates and utensils encased in a basket like structure. Not only does she pack water for each individual, she also includes juice, chips, pretzels, sandwiches and a blanket to sit on and a back-up blanket in case the first gets wet. This mom also packs both children's bikes for playing after the picnic. At first glance she appears to have her ducks all in a row until you watch closely to learn she is just like you and me. It starts with forgetting her daughter's sunglasses, then forgetting the helmets to ride bikes then the crows take the chips while they are taking a potty break quickly followed by what may be the most awkward park experience of my life (but that's a story for another day).

The Mom Who Hovers: This mom is characterized by constantly needing to be within 2 feet of her child at all times. And, I blame to media. I realize that some play structures can be a little advanced for 2 year olds and some 3 year olds but unless you have a really daring child or a really klutzy one your child will not willingly risk it's life for a little thrill. It's not that I don't understand. Heck, I blame the media for implanting that all people want to do is steal our children and harm them. Yes, I agree, watching our children is their best defense against bad things. But, hovering squashes independence and really effs up my play date parent to parent time. Trust me, you'll know when she's hurt.

The Mom Who Observes: This mom is characterized by a non-inviting grimace which states by the furrowed brow do not approach, unfriendly person behind the mask. The Observer likes to watch how moms and kids interact and likes to know that interaction between parents exists but does not want to actually participate in said action with strangers. She prefers to wallow in her own pity about not having any friends than actually do something about it. The mere thought of social interaction with strangers frightens her yet has never been disappointed from an encounter yet. She is the one quietly judging you wishing she were talking not making up stories about you. Although, often the stories in her head are far more entertaining than reality. The Observer is the one who actively practices the stare down (mentioned above) and who may or may not suffer from social anxiety or be known as One Crazy Chick.

*I have so many favorite posts of Tiffany's it was hard to decide what to tell you to read. I mean, it seems everyone loves them a good OB story and so do I. But, no one loves a copy cat, so I say go read Boot What? Tiff - I need some follow up on that hell!

*My name is Kandace and you can find me writing about my life over at One Crazy Chick...sometimes I even write about our Stripper pole!


Jess said…
This is sooo true!!
I got THE STARE DOWN the other day when I went to the park!
Made me feel like it was the first day of High School and I forgot to wear a bra!!
Now I'm paranoid. Am I one of these. OH NO! Actually, I don't think you descibed me. I'm an older mom who doesn't know it all but feels suddenly 80 years old when she goes to the playground because the other moms are all like 18 and bubbly. I'm the one someone will no doubt ask if my daughter is actually my grandchild. Then I just wish I had worn cooler clothes and maybe sunglasses that would make me look younger:) I give up, and finally just decide to read my copy of Twilight for the 5th time while sitting on a bench. BAHAHAHAHAHA
Amy said…
I may be just a little bit of each kind of Mom. When I went to the park last year I got into fights with all of the bugs and did not stay. We shall see what happens when the snow melts away.
jmt said…
I don't get to experience the mommies at the parks. This is enlightening information if ever I do. LOL Thanks!
LOL. I have not had this experience at an outdoor park yet, but I have seen it at the indoor playgrounds us Minnesotans go to in the winter. ;)
Susie said…
Wow!! I don't know if it is a regional thing or if I am not out there enough but, I haven't encountered that at all here. I don't think I would be nearly that kind.
Anonymous said…
Awesome post and VERY accurate! LOL
Anonymous said…
I'm trying to figure out which one I am.

I'm not the Nanny,

I'm NOT the older mom and if anyone says I am then they suck,

I'm not the know it all mom...even though I do ;)

I'm definitely not the know it all mom since the only picnic basket I own has been collecting dust for the past 7 years up on my kitchen cabinets,

I used to kinda, sorta be a hover mom but not anymore,

I guess I'm a little of the observer mom but I try really hard not to grimace...too much.

I think I'm the mom that doesn't like to go to the park so she put a swing set in the backyard so she can just tell her kids to go play out back while she blogs.

Yep, that's me.
Swirl Girl said…
I gave my daughter water with a squeeze of real juice in it , and a know-it-all mom screetched in horror! Then gave her kid a Gatorade. I am an older mom who observes and hovers and speaks spanish to her kids.....I am my own category.
Julie said…
Yeah, I'm that last one too. Interaction is scary. And possibly dangerous. I'm just one button away from dialing 911 if anybody looks at me funny.
CB said…
What a great post. I am glad to be past those days to tell you the truth.
There are definately all kinds of mom's out there.
The Know It All mom is the one that I remember most - they are always around aren't they. I have a little guy who was almost blind in one eye until he was 5 and then they could start correcting it (long story) and so he did have to be careful and i probably hovered a bit with good reason and got some of the most insensitive comments sometimes but people didn't know he couldn't see.

I guess you have to walk in someone's shoes for a day to really know them.
KatBouska said…
Oh my gosh I was SOO confused for a second. Great post! But as I was reading I was like, whoa whoa whoa Tiffany doesn't use that phrase...or does she now?? It's funny how you get to know eacher others voices on these things.

This was hilarious!! I think I'm the mom who sits and stares. I had no idea moms were interacting at the park. Then again I'm on lockdown all day every day so what do I know.
TuTu's Bliss said…
LOL I like this post. Making mommy friends is tough. I'm hover mom but because The Blue eyed Beast really is that daring. The things she'll do for a thrill!!
Lula! said…
Bwahahahaha...this was brilliant.
Tiffany said…
Love it.

One Crazy Chick always says it like it is... and she looks hawt in those stripper boots!
debi9kids said…
LOL! As I was reading this, I was trying to decide which mom I am...I think I am a combo.. a hoverer and the mom that tried too hard. LOL
Margaret said…
That is so funny. I like to see how the other moms are going to react. I don't think the stare down is all in your imagination. It really does happen.
Marimoy said…
this is just silly! I chortled a bit reading this.
Kris said…
Oooh! That is so dang funny! Love it!
angi_b72 said…
just stopped to show you some clickety love...and i will have to check out the WW cheese. I haven't see that yet!! Know of any good WW blogs on here?
Unknown said…
Great story! It's always so fun going to the park and getting all those funny looks haha.
Mary said…
Yep, can relate, although, I think I'm one of the mums mentioned.....or maybe two....
S Club Mama said…
So...I'm kind of the hovering mom. I'll admit it. I'm afraid Moose will fall and get a wood chip up his nose or implanted in his eyeball. *shrug* But I also like to play with him...:)

And Moose was breastfed for 2 weeks, a combo of breast and formula for another 6 weeks, and then formula fed. He's fine. And I would never have made it until two!! He bites. :)
Ash said…
The WHO? I thought they broke up years ago.

And I'm pretty sure I'm the Mom who Observes - or that's what I look like to the outside world. On the inside I'm just too intimidated to approach another gaggle of moms.

They scare the hell out of me!

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