26 January 2010
First, some background. We live in a diverse neighborhood with loads of young children, most of whom we only catch fleeting glimpses of. The parents of the kids A's age don't tend to take their tots outside, no matter what the season, and those who we have encountered have unfortunately not spoken English or wanted to talk. So, A has no local friends. This is, I might note, part of the reason we're trying to pursue day care again this year. She's highly social and would only benefit at this point by being around children her age during the day. But I digress.
M started taking A to the Malden Library's Toddler Story Time and Sing-Along on most Tuesdays, each week. We thought that it would be great to get her out, get him out and maybe everyone involved could meet someone. M isn't a big socializer, but he's opened up a lot in the last year especially (he blames or thanks both myself and A depending on the day), so each time he's gone, I've been disappointed to hear that he wasn't really able to talk to the other parents there.
Today though...he stayed after while A played on with some of the kids and, to my amazement, approached a group of moms about a playgroup being organized. He was telling me this on the phone on my way home from work and finally blurted out, "Moms are sexist!"
He had been turned away from the playgroup because it was a mom's only affair. No boyz allowed.
I was stunned. Well...no, I tell a lie. I was really disappointed. I was disappointed because I suspect it took some doing for him to talk to them to begin with and because A lost out on a potential play date with other kids simply by virtue of her father being her caregiver. I was disappointed because there are 10,002 Mom Cafe type groups in this area, but apparently, local moms need to create more.
As if to reinforce my own thoughts on this subject, A chose tonight to be her Catastrophic Meltdown Over Everything Night. The one person who finally calmed her? Daddy.
Then I cried. I cried because her father is her go-to-guy when she needs comfort, but these women can't believe that men can be that person. I cried because I've had it up to here with the double standard we inflict on ourselves. I cried because it was just one of those nights where I felt totally impotent as a parent and a mother and a wife.
After that, I got angry again. I'd like to channel that anger into something productive though. I'm considering promoting the idea that an all inclusive playgroup, for all stay at home parents and working S/Os should be formed. Meetup.com is OK, but I want something better. Thoughts?