Add to the mix that it is super hard to get to know people when you have small humans running around your feet? Some of you are thinking, "No it's not!"And for my extroverted friends, it is a piece of cake to chat people up. But it really difficult for me. I'm a little socially awkward if I don't know people or if we don't have something in common that can drive the conversation forward. And conversations that can't go more than 2 minutes without interruption or distraction adds an extra really cute, but really loud hurdle.
Small kids + Introverted couple = A lot of nights in.
And that's okay with us. Jason and I like hanging out together!
It takes work to make new friends and I am ready and willing to make the effort as often as I can. This past week, I had just attended 2 class field trips where I was the only parent wrangling small children. I tried to meet a couple other parents but always was tugged away from the conversation by something or other. You know, like stopping toddler from running up to a predatory owl to give him a hug.
Or feeding hungry pigs and teaching the baby how to oink (important life skill that it is)
So when we were invited to a party here in town by a coworker of Jason (actually, the professor who told Jason about our small town which we fell in love with!) we were super pumped. We were told to bring the whole family and come out to their house for a fun fall party. And I was going to have another chance to meet some people!
The hosts have an 8 year old son who goes to school with the kids so this is going to be great. We will meet a bunch of people. Our kids can find some friends in town. I can scope out the other frazzled, multitasking, kickass moms of small kids and find a friend!
We dress the kids up a little for the party. It's all about the mind-games. A poorly behaved child who looks like he is presentable will be excused. "He's just tired" or "Oh poor thing, he's probably hungry." A sloppy child who is behaving poorly is a heathen. "That child was a mess! Did you see him!" You have to trick people into accepting your kids.
We arrive at the party, walk into a beautiful home in the woods, and look around for people. No one. We are told to check the bar downstairs...
What? I shoot Jason a look of fear mixed with confusion.
We walk around the house to the newly renovated basement the hosts were so excited for everyone to see. It is a beautiful large basement with a full bar, a stage for a band, and adults. Lots of them. No one under 5 feet to be seen ANYWHERE.
But where is their son? Not here! It's a bar party...
The rest of the night was a bit of a blur. I drank a little wine. Cleaned up 400 spills on their newly installed flooring. Policed my children who ran up and down the newly carpeted stairs like they were wild apes on cocaine. Fed my children a few snacks from their fancy cheese tray table and refilled their water bottle a hundred times. Broke up 10 fights over the kettle corn dish. (Sorry about that - I hope no one else wanted any kettle corn?) And attempted 10 stunted conversations with really sweet adults. They really were the nicest group of people. So gracious to our tiny hoard of locusts.
My favorite conversation of the evening:
- Oh good, you survived! I like seeing people who make it through alive.
- They are so cute. *Kids thumping down stairs and shrieking*
- OH! I JUST SAID THEY ARE SO CUTE!
- Oh thanks
- Do you know who that little girl with the curls belongs to?
- Oh she's mine too!
- WHAT? You have FOUR?!
At this point, one of the four required immediate assistance to get out of the way of 3 adults trying to get to the bottom of the stairs. I looked away from the conversation for 1 second, and when I looked back, the lady had already run away. I don't blame her. It was a bar party after all. Everyone had hired babysitters so they could enjoy their evening. I wanted to yell, "WE DIDN'T KNOW?!?!" but I thought that would just scare everyone. They didn't even notice my inner turmoil. And thought my kids were sweet and cute. And that I was a nice mom. But the struggle was real.
There was a fight over a large toy truck. We put Netflix on my phone and gave it to Roman. The phone died shortly after. The band started. We got the hell out of there.
Look, it was super nice to extend an invitation to a family with young children and make them feel welcome by inviting all of them to your party. This is the beginning of us getting to know people in town! Unless they run away from us if they ever see us in public again.
But had we known, we would not have brought our 4 small children to a bar party...
Our sincere apologies