I used to think that once I started taking Baby out for walks in the buggy, I'd meet other mums (or dads) wheeling their own precious bundles around the streets. I envisioned us recognising each other as fellow new parents, and giving each other smiles of fellowship - like being instantly member of the same club or something.
Except this doesn't happen. Most of the times when I come across another mum pushing a buggy, she completely ignores my smile, leaving me feel like an unwanted door-knocker. (I told the boy this; he thought that if he were doing the buggy thing, lots of women would would be willing to chat to him. I agree).
I've been dying to do the mum's coffee group thing, if only to be able to compare notes and hopefully stop feeling as though I'm the only one who spends two hours getting her child to take a one hour nap.
Yesterday I ventured to the Sally Army's play group, which accommodates newborns up to pre-school. Walking into the hall with Baby in my arms (buggys and prams had to be parked in a separate area) was like walking into a party where you don't know anyone, but harder; at least you can tank yourself up for a party, and you're more likely to have had a chance to shower and dress nicely before going.
I did start a couple of conversations, one with the mother of the ugliest girl baby I've ever seen in my life and the other with the South African grandmother of a two-week old, there with the baby's nanny. I had to cut the conversation short though, because the whole experience was just too much for poor Baby, who'd already had yet another nap-less morning.
I've got high hopes for tomorrow and next week though; tomorrow Baby and I are visiting a friend from library school who has a son the same age, and next week is the first coffee morning of the local PIN group (a Plunket-coordinated social group of mums with same-age children). Yippee - peers!