This Valentine’s Day I was uncharacteristically prepared. I had cards purchased for Corey, my mom, my mother in-law, and I even got a box of kids’ Valentines for the boys to pass out at preschool. I’m not that mom. I’m NEVER that mom, not because I don’t wish their super-cute friends to have a happy Valentine’s Day, but because I’m just not strategic or organized.
I was almost smug in my Valentine’s preparedness this year. I took the boys and the cards up to preschool yesterday and proudly pulled the cards out of my purse…only to discover that just about all of the other moms had done the same. I was expecting to feel “I’ve finally got my shit together on this mom stuff!” But then I realized that if I hadn’t had the epiphany in the Target Valentine’s aisle, my kids would have been empty-handed when everyone else had brought something to share. I dread that this will become the norm.
Which brings me to this – where is this Mom School that everyone seems to have gone to except me? I don’t mean that “don’t leave your kids unattended in the bath” kind of knowledge. I mean the hostess-y, orange slices for snack, moonbounce at birthday parties, pre-printed playdate cards kind of info that I seem to be missing.
When I was a kid, there was no parental orchestration of play. I played with the neighbor kids or I was SOL, relegated to the back yard to make mud pies or figure out how to play badminton for one. Not that I don’t appreciate play dates – I think it’s a good idea, especially if the kids already have an affinity for each other. I just don’t know how to do it without seeming like the awkward preteen at a school dance. Does your kid want to play with my kid, during which you and I will make chit chat that may or may not be enjoyable? Tempting, I know.
I’d like to think that I’m not the only mom who feels weird about this. Maybe I have late-onset social awkwardness. I just wish there was a guide book so I knew when to show up with cupcakes.