Sunday, 11 March 2007

Social skills

I think I'm adversely affecting my daughter's social network.

When Hannah was at nursery she went through from the baby room (Baby Bugs room) to the pre-school room (Rising Fives room) along with other children: Josh, Daniel, Ben and Grace among others. So that at the age of four, Hannah already had a group of friends.

Well actually she had several groups of friends. There were the friends from nursery, the friends who were children of our National Childbirth Trust ante natal group and the children of my NHS ante natal group. And now she can add school friends, friends from breakfast and after school clubs to the list too.

This gives her an extended social network of about 90 children.

When Hannah was at nursery I used to get occasional invitations for 'girl's nights out' with the other mums.

Sometimes, I intended to participate but would cry off at the last minute.

Most of these women were younger and trendier than me. They were used to going out 'with the girls' and I wasn't. I'd always stress about what to wear and often felt the cliche of 'I don't have a thing to wear' really did apply. It was just easier most of the time to have a last minute fantasy home emergency that prevented me from turning up.

Today we went to the local park and I bumped into some of the mums that were a part of this circle. We chatted and we got on well, as we always did, but it was obvious I wasn't part of the group. It was obvious that they had all called one another with the intention of meeting in the park.

Hannah saw Josh, Daniel, Ben and Grace at the park but it was clear from the body language she was an acquaintance, not a friend. These children, who are all now at different schools, are still friends with one another, whereas Hannah isn't.

It made me sad that she's spent four years with little people developing friendships and I've effectively killed relationships. I guess at least she has another 86 people in her network she can choose as friends.


northernlight said...

I can emphathise with this one. There is nothing like the randomness of ante-natal friends. My youngest has no friends because I couldn't be fussed with any of the second ante-natal crowd.
But Hannah is lovely, outgoing and bright and will always have loads of friends.

Ann said...

Ah you see I have friends in both NCT ante natal crowds - it was the NHS bunch that sort of went wayward.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Josh's mum looks like Liz Hurley. Honestly, how is one supposed to feel vaguely confident in such a presence?