I pick up a lot. And Chris doesn't mind. But I am starting to feel like a bit of a slut.
You see, I pick up other moms all the time. I can't help it. In this bizarre vaccuum year of maternity leave, one tends to look for like-minded playmates.
It is kind of like university: slim budgets, all-nighters (albeit distinctly more sober) and chunks of free-ish time to fill with socializing and sitting in the park.
The typical mom pickup starts with something obvious, like: "How old is your baby?" or "Do you like that brand of stroller/diaper/onesie?" Then the conversation can go on from there to "Where are you heading? The park? Me too. Want to walk there together?"
You lay down your blanket at the park, admire each others' babies, talk about sleep patterns, breastfeed, sip coffee, share tips, and if all goes well you make a plan to see each other again for circle time at an early years/mom and tot swim/gymboree/matinees for mommies/a pedicure/mom and baby yoga.
I told Elana, who is due in about five minutes, all about these mommy dates, thinking I had nailed a phenomenon, but it was old news to her. She has a friend who says be careful! The first mom and baby date can be great and fun, but the next date can be a dud. So be careful, or you can get stuck with the someone you don't actually want to be friends with.
I have always loved meeting new folks - I am dead curious how people live, to share knowledge, to figure out other value systems. And I love how this mother role can sometimes flatten social hierarchies and democratize social interaction.
But suddenly I feel self-conscious, like a Freshman lining up at the campus pub for shooter night. Is my experience totally cliche? Do I pick up too much?