Monday, August 18, 2014

Lessons from the Dothan Cloth and Carry Club

I don't have many soap boxes.  I used to, and I might have some in the future, but for a while now I've subscribed to the same mantra as one of my friends.  She has pledged not to judge other parents, and I decided to join her a while back.  I didn't proclaim it or anything, I just thought, "that's a really good thing to do, I should try it too, I bet I make a lot more friends," and I have.

It isn't always easy.  There were the parents who refused to let their child be Harry Potter for Halloween, (really?,  all they would have had to do was tie a black towel around their kids neck and give them a stick to hold).  Or the countless numbers of parents who tether their children to leashes in the airport, or the ones who guard nap time as sacred and refuse to alter their schedule by even 10 minutes to accommodate someone else,  etc.

I've tried to shrug it off and recognize that I do my fair share of yelling in public, (and private) and there was the time Sadie screamed the entire 3.5 hr flight from Atlanta to SLC, and just last Sunday we showed up to church with Sadie only in her diaper, her dress in the diaper bag.  I'm sure I've had my fair share of eye rolls and inward groans from random strangers.

Anyway, the back story to today's post started Friday.  I branched out and took Sadie to a Mommy and Me Yoga class.  It was fun, and I met a friend.  She's from here, but she doesn't really act Southern.  Not that that's bad, it's just, I like my friends a little crunchy, and crunchy's hard to come by down here.

So,  back to my new friend.  I commented on her son's shoes, and we started talking about kids clothes.  She asked where I was from and when I said Utah, she beamed and said, "almost everything I get on line comes from Provo, Ut.  Have you been there?  Um, yes, I've been to Provo, mostly we Northern Utahn's try to avoid it like the plague, but I could tell she envisioned it as some sort of creative mommy Utopia, so I tried to say only nice things about it.

We bonded over baby shoes, and Provo, and yoga.  She took my number and texted soon after, inviting Sadie and me to a play date.  I was thrilled.  I officially had a new non-church, non elementary mom, non parent of a kid on a sports team, friend.  It only took me a year.

Then this morning happened.  We arrived, late, but only a little bit.  We talked a bit and everything was going well until she introduced me to some of the other moms.  Apparently its a thing to go to the park at 9:00 am here and all the other mothers seemed to know each other.  The new mom introduced herself and my friend followed it up with, "she runs a fun Face Book group called "Dothan Cloth and Carry".  Having my crunchy friends really came in handy here, because I knew exactly what she was talking about, cloth diapering and baby wearing.  Both things I whole heartedly support, and have used, in the past.  Unfortunately I spoke those last words out loud and the shut down was immediate...

"Hmm, why don't you use cloth now?"

"So, you don't use cloth at all?!?!"

"Which carrier do you prefer? Ergo or Tula?"

"Really?, Ergo?  I don't know anyone who likes their Ergo better than their Tula!"

"Being a mom is my job and I want to do things the right way."

"Well, our Face Book group is a secret group, so if you search you won't find us.  We're picky and  like to keep our members to only those who cloth diaper exclusively and embrace baby wearing."

Yup, there was more but I won't bore you with the details.  I've already rambled long enough. It ended with her saying, " nice to meet you, Robyn" and telling my new friend she'd be in touch with specifics about the next play group.   Suffice it to say I don't think I'll be invited to any more playdates even though she orders a lot of her cloth diapers from, you guessed it, Provo.

The craziest part was, when we were alone again my new friend said, "they act all organic, but most of them shop at Sam's Club, and feed their children Nilla Wafers, can you believe it?!"  Oh no, I didn't have the heart to break it to her that I was out of Nilla Wafers and on my way to Sam's when the play date was done.

Two of my besties sharing a hike, sharing good advice, even sharing, and wearing, babies.

This is the second playgroup I've been excluded from in this town.  One because my hubby isn't a med student and now this.  I know the obvious answer is to start my own, and maybe I will. Right now though, I'm nostalgic for the crunchy and not so crunchy friends I left behind.  Friends who have taught me about essential oils and gardening, teething necklaces and honey bees, good yarn and how to knit it, chicken raising and baby wearing, and everything in between... but mostly I miss their ability to look past the fact that some of us are not as far along on the crunchy scale, and recognize that Nilla Wafers really are cheaper at Sam's Club.

Consider me lesson learned. "Judge not lest..."  I get it.  Bring your high fructose corn syrup and your Huggies, or your chia seeds and green smoothies.  I won't judge, and I might even make a new friend or two.


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    1. Please steal the photo. I was meaning to gift it to you and Syrina anyway. I love it too!! I would rather just move back too. Thanks for your encouraging words!!

    2. That's a funny story but it probably didn't seem funny at the time. That's too bad they were so unwelcoming. I've been around the crunchiest mamas in Ogden and never felt intentionally put out of place. For the most part I find my crunchy mama friends to be very accepting and understanding of different choices. I'm sorry you encountered such a narrow minded group of moms. It really is so great to have a friend base where we all can offer different ideas, different skills, different interests and all learn from one another. You'll find it there (though I'd rather you just move back). I'll bet they don't thrift like you do and that's one of the greenest ways to raise a family. I'm sure the majority of your entire family's wardrobe was purchased used not to mention your home furnishings. You could teach them a thing or two about greening their families.

      BTW, I love the picture. I might have to steal that from your blog.

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  3. Everything Sarah said I would say to you too. So just know that I would just copy and paste Sarah's entire comment here, but for time crunch's sake, I won't. I hope you name your Facebook playgroup HighFructoseCornSyrup Mom's Club