Today I went on my third playgroup outing.  Anyone keeping track?  In roughly two + months I’ve made it to three group walks.  Ironically, I felt tremendous pressure to make it to as many events as possible (not that I managed that) while I was doing the free “trial” period.  You know, meet people, learn the ropes, decide if this is the “right” playgroup for me (kind of like college campus visits… OK, not really).  But I started feeling increasing pressure and guilt as my trial month stretched into two (not that anybody was hunting me down for the money or anything – even though I was supposed to be contacted at some point – but still) so I finally just shelled out my group fee (which resulted in a shower of spam playgroup-related emails).  And I have to say now that I’ve kicked down my $50 bucks I’m a lot more relaxed.  I feel free to slack if I want to.  (This is the great thing about America, here you can pay for the privilege to not do anything at all.  And it sure beats the prices of Gymboree; is that a racket or what?!)  However, my tentative plan is to try to make it to a least one event a week, most likely the walks. 

Ahem. I WAS invited to Bunko Night this week, which I declined for the time being.  I think I need to get to know these ladies a little better before I show up with a bottle of wine or other alcoholic beverage and try to make it into a drinking game.  I assume Bunko can be made into a drinking game, right?  Still have no idea how it’s played… but I’m sure drinks can be worked in there.  Otherwise, I’m leaving my child at home for the evening for what?

One thing I’ve noted over the last couple of playgroup walks… wait, you need background first.  We’ve all been meeting at a local mall instead of an outside trail because it’s been raining.  At the end of our “walks”, i.e. several circuits around the mall, punctuated with exercises that are only partly hidden by the escalator shadows (and of said exercises, I usually slink towards the back of the group and perform them half-heartedly – just like in highschool gym! oh, the horrible flashbacks), after our circuits we stop and let the kids go to town in this play yard the mall has set up.  I haven’t had much opportunity to see my son with kids his own age.  All the kids he’s been with have been older, so of course, he looks slow next to them.  Here’s what I notice when I see him next to other one-year-olds… most children that age play but kind of stick close to their parents.  They’re toddling or crawling around, maybe a little uncertainly, they’re having fun but they don’t roam too far away.  My kid, on the other hand, is tearing around the play yard like a madman.  He’s off like a shot and he’ll go quite a distance.  He also enthusiastically goes after other peoples’ strollers (he loves the wheels).  He climbs up other peoples’ legs (I’m not sure what he’s trying to accomplish here).  And he’s almost as fast as the three year olds… and he’s still crawling!  Chance will turn around quite often and look for me, but he’s even gone so far a couple of times that he couldn’t find me immediately – I could see him but he couldn’t see me.  More often, I’m just running after him to keep him out of trouble (or getting trampled).  Now I knew Chance crawled fast, he can keep up with Keen’s normal walking pace and he just hops along beside him like a little puppy (which we’ve laughed about quite a bit) but it wasn’t until I saw him next to other kids that I really started to appreciate his… um… energy. 

Oy… I’m not laughing so much now.  I think I’m in for a handful.  Maybe if he walks soon he’ll slow down (temporarily)?  I can hope, right?            – the weirdgirl