Thursday, 23 September 2010

Where the Wild Things are...

Since B was about 6 months old I have been taking her to a few Mother and Toddler groups in an effort to meet some mum and kids in the area. I figured it would be okay seeing as most people tend to pop kids out one after another (unlike us) and so there would be mothers with toddlers and also some babies. Miss absolutely loves it and I'm pretty sure she thinks that she is as big as the rest of the kids there. She attempts to walk away on her own without holding onto anything and watches with utter fascination what the older kids are up to. It's strange and little bit scary being in this world again, the world of the Wild Things and their parents... While Miss definitely has her own personality, she is nowhere near that stage of toddler-hood, where the kids are carving out their personalities in a way that constantly tests your patience. It will come eventually but it's hilarious watching the shock on her face when a kid throws a full scale wobbly in front of her while it's mother is usually oblivious and in gossip mode.

As well as a feeding ground for bacteria...

Your average toddler group is very much like the school playground and so carries with it all the politics, it's just a bit less organised and someone is usually covered in vomit.

So here's my run down of parenting types usually encountered at said places:

Species: Worrius Protectus
Behaviour: Standing within 12 inches of their child at all times!
Distinctive Markings: First aid kit, backpack, anti-bacterial wipes, furrowed brow
Natural Enemies: Unsupervised children
Mating Call: "Wait for mummy! Don't climb that!"
The hoverer is usually a woman, most often the mother of an only child whom she protects like the last surviving member of the Hapsburg family. She's the one who is constantly worried that her child might fall down at any given moment and it's her responsibility to make sure that NEVER happens!  When the kid is climbing the monkey puzzle, she puts her hand on his behind.  When he's going down the slide, she's always right there to catch him at the bottom.  If he's on the swing, someone must be standing both in front of him AND behind him at all times.

Species: Blackberryus Irritatus
Behaviour: Text-messaging the office
Distinctive Markings: Blackberry, Bluetooth headset, Hermes tie or scarf
Natural Enemies: Hippies, SAHDs, and anyone not in the corporate rat race
Mating Call: "Hold on a sec...Daddy's/Mummy's on a very important conference call."
You can always spot Executive out of a crowd.  They're the one who looks most out of their element and speaks to his children the same way he speaks to secretaries, or interns. Playground sightings of Executive are extremely rare.  Usually, they defer playground duties to the nanny.

Species: Insanus Multitaskus
Behaviour: Regulating every single minute of her child's free time
Distinctive Markings: Google calendar, Filofax, Violin, Tae Kwan Do outfit
Natural Enemies: Slacker parents
Mating Call: "If we're going to make it on time, we have to leave RIGHT NOW!"
On the surface, PTA parent looks very normal.  Sensibly dressed, practical, and completely genial.  However, upon closer inspection, you'll notice that PTA parent bears a strong resemblance to a strung-out crystal meth addict.  They are a blur of non-stop action! When they're not lobbying parents in the playground to help with the latest bake sale fundraiser, they're organizing tupperware parties, running triathlons, and volunteering at the local hospital.
In the playground, PTA Parents can often be heard instructing their children how to play properly.  However, this usually doesn't last long because it's often time to head out for the next activity.  Some biologists believe that natural PTA Parents do not really exist and that the phenomenon is due to a narcotic addiction to Ritalin!

Species: Nealus Pollackus
Behaviour: Reading Spin magazine while sitting in the swing set
Distinctive Markings: "Dead Kennedys" t-shirt, rocker shades, Seven jeans, Vans
Natural Enemies: The Wiggles, Elmo, Yuppie scum
Mating Call: "Maaaannnn...."
Every playground has a hipster.  Generally an adult clinging to the last vestiges of their youth, they can often be seen wearing the same clothing as their children.  That's cool though because they're tight with their kids.  They don't "play" together per se.  They "hang." Hipsters tends to be relatively self-consumed.  Whereas they believe that they are simply not allowing the presence of children in their life to alter their previously childless lifestyle, they generally fails to realize that they have become a cliche.  However, despite their failings, Hipsters are generally excellent parents who spend much time interacting with their children. Hipster Dads are rarely seen in playgrounds.  However, they can often be found accompanying their children to used-record stores, alternative concerts, or Fellini film festivals.

Species: Shabbius Chicus
Behaviour: Pretending to play in the sandbox
Distinctive Markings: Balenciaga hobo bag, Prada shades, shag haircut, Range Rover
Natural Enemies: Dirty children, uncooperative nannies, Mum jeans
Mating Call: "Mummy's going to Pilates now, honey, but Rosita will play with you."
She is recognizable by her meticulously-crafted ensembles that seem to display a casual insoucence but also belie her enormous wealth.  Sure, she's wearing jeans, a t-shirt and some low-tops. However, that outfit cost more than your monthly mortage payment! Posh Hippi rebels against the wealthy society women of previous generations.  However, in reality, she is extremely similar.  In fact, cultural anthropologists believe the development of the Posh Hippy is a testament to Darwin's theories of evolution.

I'm still trying to figure out which one I am....


  1. You need an extra category for me - older mother who's not going to get her kids out of the door until she's collecting the pension, generally looking like she's been pulled through a hedge as usually goes out the door having forgotten to brush her hair - never mind shaved her legs or done her nails, etc. Pulling her hair out as the baby has shot off in one direction while the other has attached himself to a stranger and is heading out the door.Mostly looking like a bag lady but wearing cute shoes!

  2. I'd add the Italian mother, the that tells her child/children not to sweat.

  3. I think I'd fit more into Tilly's catagory as well (def look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards, a razor is a mere distant memory to my legs, as is a haircut to my mop - as said in a recent post of mine 'why is it?!@), although I would also be a cross breed with the Hoverer, but not due to me worrying about my child hurting themselves, oh no, he bounces and has zero pain threshold and I now don't even flinch, but more due to his lack of social skills and pure worry he is going to collide with another child in his manic haste.

  4. Just found your blog via BMB and LOVING it! Will have a proper read later when little un hasn't just woken up!


  5. Thanks Pooky. I think I should start a post where people can submit types to it. A sort of anthropological parent study... :)


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