On Saturday, we hooked up with a group of other mommies and tots for a clothes swap. We had never met this group before and I had already made the usual promise to myself to avoid any parenting conversations. Why? Because I don't need no judgements and it ain't none of yo' business that my baby don't sleep in a crib.
I pulled up to the correct address...
(it was in someone's house) and couldn't help but notice the huge provincial election signs in the yard. Upon seeing these, I began to reminisce about the time when I was saying goodbye to a group of mothers/grandmothers at storytime. It was provincial election day (another province -- yes, I've lived in two provinces plus one territory). I reminded them all, "it's election day, remember to go vote!" Everyone stared at me blankly until a voice piped up, "I never know who to vote for". Then another voice, "yeah, they're all the same, who cares." Laughter and agreement all around. If I weren't so shy I would have retorted with, "excuse me but aren't you paying $800 per month for childcare? ...IF you can find it!?" Needless to say, any mamma (or papa) who posts big, bright election signs in their yard automatically has my respect.
Inside, it was just a regular group of moms, having regular conversation, sipping on regular tea. As I got settled, I began to notice something unusual in the way they spoke:
"My son had this '(enter serious health condition here)'. We found a bunch of books and started doing research. Then (then!?), we went and asked our doctor. We figured out what is was and have completely changed his diet -- it's made a huge difference."
As opposed to, (and this is a true story) "I have to go to the pharmacist right now because my baby is sick." ~ What's wrong with her? "I don't know she's just not herself, I just have to go get some medicine."
"My doctor said __________ and even though that doesn't sound right to me, he's/she's a doctor so I won't question it"
After some more chit-chat and digging through clothes, I broke my golden rule and dared to ask a parenting question. I was wondering something about cloth diapers. Well question answered! I got a full run down on all different types of diaper covers. A little girl Munchy's age was lucky enough to model her Bummi diaper cover for me. I'm heading out to buy some new diaper covers this week!
The moment of truth finally came when I accepted that I had, indeed, found my niche group of moms. This young, hip, mamma of four had just arrived and, while talking to her, she whipped down her tube top (it was a cool tube top, green, bright green...I love green) and started nursing her 20 month old right there. Holla!!!! Little One was pretty impressed as well as she gently walked over to them and began petting the nursing toddler's head. Too sweet. That's when I informed the group that, at 19 months, we still nursed as well. I asked around and it turns out that most of the mammas continued breastfeeding their children until they were at least two years old.
It's been 19 months and finally, FINALLY, I have found a group of like-minded parents who I can look forward to seeing on a regular basis and asking those parenting questions that we all have -- instead of keeping my mouth shut. I look forward to talking about food additives and wooden toys, felt food and schools that support the growth of 'The Whole Child' rather than just academics. And of course, making new friends :)