No one warned me about The Drop Off.
In all the Kindergarten Preparedness advice I received, you would think someone would have slipped in there "Oh, and by the way, you'll want to buy yourself some new clothes too. And take a shower. And have interesting things to say at seven in the morning. Because every day you're going to have to stand with a group of women that you've never met. And after a few weeks, you're either in or you're out. Don't worry. You'll know which you are."
Where was this advice?? Huh? I was so focused on Savannah starting school and Savannah doing well socially and Savannah feeling confident that I completely missed the whole socially awkward adult dynamic that was bound to exist.
Here's how it goes down:
- Group A - The Alpha Mom Group. These are the moms that get to school first. Always. Their hair is perfect. They wear coordinating workout clothes. The best dressed kids belong to them. Their cars are always shiny. They remember everyone's names. Aaaand one or two of them is bound to say "We were going to do private school, but we wanted to provide Tatum/Hunter/Preston with more diversity". (To which I responded "We were going to do private school too. But, we wanted to, you know, eat." No one laughed. Of course not.)
- Group B - The Been There, Done That Group. This group is the most relaxed. They have older children in the school. They know where the multi-purpose room is and where to sign up for dance class. They smile at you, amused, while you fret (How many yard duties are there? What if there's a fire? Were we supposed to sign that pink paper?! I forgot to bring the pink paper!! IS HER BACKPACK GOING TO BE IN THE SUN BECAUSE THERE'S CHEESE IN THERE!). They calmly reassure you while their eyes say "Ah, to be young again".
- Group C - The Nervous Newbies. These are the moms that bond over their anxiety. For the first week, they commiserate with each other (I was going to make him a peanut butter sandwich and then I remembered he isn't herrrrre." SOB). They grow closer as they recover and by the third week they're saying things like "You know, three hours isn't really enough. Now, first grade. That's going to be awesome. Let's get coffee!"
- Group D - The Hopeful Stragglers. These moms are the ones pecking around to the various groups. They seem to be shy, but always wear an eager smile. Sometimes they visit with each other, but frequently walk to their car alone. I notice that most of these moms seem to be moms of boys. I wonder, is it harder to make friends when you're a boy mom?
- Group E - The Drop Off and Go Group. Hi. Bye. They have enough friends. The End. I don't know; maybe they're bloggers?
Anyway, a lady never tells, so you'll just have to guess which group I'm a part of. Which is another way of saying 'I think I'm my own group?'.
So, last week, after dropping off Savannah and not having a particularly stellar social experience with the Drop Off Moms (honestly, I think its because I hadn't had my lip waxed since last winter) I was walking into Starbucks when I see two other moms from Savannah's class (See Group A) standing outside.
As I approach, one of them says "There's one of our moms right now!".
I beam. I think, what a lovely thing to say! "One of our moms". I feel like I really belong. "Hi there!" I respond and happily walk up to join their conversation.
Then the Other Mom turns around. She is not from Savannah's class, after all. She looks me up and down. I'm wearing my "Stud Tamer" t-shirt (it has a horse on it -- what double entendre?). "Who is this?" she asks.
I swear. Just like that. 'WHO is this?' She has a fake smile plastered on her face.
I introduce myself.
The Mom From Savannah's Class trips all over her words. "Oh...I...you're...I thought...are you a MOPS member?".
"No" I say, confused.
The Other Mom turns back around away from me.
The Mom From Savannah's Class says "Oh, sorry! I thought you were who we're waiting for."
"Oh, okay" I step back, "Just getting coffee. I do have a kindergartner, though". I'm obviously still confused.
Then I turn around and go inside to get my coffee, thus ending the World's Most Awkward Parenting Social Moment Ever.
As I'm standing in line, I'm thinking about how rude that was. Just dismiss me? Even though our kids are in the same class?
Naturally, this is the part of the story where I would go on about how mean she was and how I hate MOPS blah blah blah, but I'm sorry to report that the Mom From Savannah's Class went and RUINED EVERYTHING last night by showing up at my front door being all lovely and warm and inviting me to join MOPS. She even complimented my curtains, so... I think she's my friend now. It doesn't take much. I'm like a barnacle.
Does anyone know what MOPS even is? Because I hardly sweep. (BA-DUM)
Anyway, aside from that, here is my question for you, because we're all dying to know: How do you handle Drop Off? Do you visit? Do you feel like you have to force yourself? Does it come naturally? Have you made friends that way?
Also, do you think maybe I'm freaking out just a little because I may have mentioned this blog to one of the moms?? That can't end well.