Dearsweetbabyjaysus. I needlessly humiliate myself on a regular basis, but today I really took my mortification levels up a gear. I’ll tell you the sad and sorry tale, which mainly revolves around my inability to stop talking and walk away.

Something has been troubling me. Our 3 year old is hugely social, but lacks friends outside her playgroup. I’ve been on the lookout for some girls to buddy her up with. I have parent guilt about this displaced and sometimes isolated life we lead. This spurs me on to try to create a circle that will support my kids and fill in the gaps. After my most recent shaming though, I may need to reassess this priority.

Our 3 year old used to have a nursery school friend called Sophie. She adored her. The girls used to give each other the biggest welcoming hugs and goodbye smooches. It was toddler daycare love.

When she left nursery to go to playgroup, she was devastated that she wouldn’t see Sophie anymore. Her new playgroup didn’t have a Sophie and she wanted one. Thankfully 3 year olds have short attention spans and she eventually stopped asking for her.

Today as we were in the library for story time, I recognised the little girl sitting a few floor cushions away.

It was Sophie.

After the stories, I saw Sophie and her dad flicking through some books and went up to say hello.

Actually, I used my mega excited voice and said, “Hey Sophie your friend is here!”

The dad was weirded out that I had addressed his little girl.
I got why.
I explained to him that our kids used to be besties in nursery. I rambled on about it. He looked nonplussed. I asked if Sophie had ever talked about her. She hadn’t. My 3 year old bimbled over.

“HEY LOOK IT’S SOPHIE!!!”, I trilled.

She did not recognise the kid.
Not one twinkle of recollection.
Nothing.

I was pointing at the little girl and she kept looking other places. In fact, she kept looking around the little girl for someone she knew.

The dad stared at us. He looked bemused.
Why did I not leave it there? WHY?
The end. Never mind. Goodbye.

…but no.

I busted out a sterling conversation line,
“Your kid taught my kid to poop”.
He didn’t even crack a grin. Nothing.
He muttered, “Well that’s a good thing”.

I noticed that he had picked up Sophie and had started to move away from me.

Convinced that our girls will be best buds in later life, I refused to acknowledge the code red my brain was flashing. I remembered that he had two older boys and I went into overdrive asking how things were going with them. He looked surprised that I knew so much about his family.

By trying to convince him how NORMAL I was, by acting utterly unhinged.

The dad wanted to get his kid away from the crazed library lurker. As he picked up his bag of books, I said,
“Maybe we’ll see you here again?”

He slightly nodded, in a very non committal way.
And then, as he further retreated, I asked him if he came here often.

Yes. I said that.

“Do. You. Come. Here. Often?”

I meant to the story time. I wanted to know if there was a chance our girls would be able to hang out again. You’ve got to hand it to me for tenacity.

He stopped, half smiled and then….
He winked at me, and said in a kindly tone, “I’m sure we’ll meet again”.

I thought that was a strange response. It took me until I got home to realise it.

The guy thought that I was a mad Irish mama, who trawls the library for dads to hit on.

It’s possible you could hear me screaming from where you are now.

M O R T O.

I was born in Ireland, grew up in England and met my Cornish husband in Catalonia. We now live in the Netherlands, in Dutch suburbia with our two differently wired, small kids. I spend my days parenting, writing and being amazed at all the Dutchness around me.

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