So, I talked to another playgroup mum today, a little. We were walking up the hill at the same time. We quite often cross paths on the way to playgroup, but usually only muster a tired smile, or an occassional 'Hi'. Today, I managed to supplement the smile with another comment 'That looks like hard work!' (she was pushing a buggy with a baby in and her pre-school daughter perched on top, up a very steep hill). And Rosemary helped, by saying 'Hello!' very brightly. So we ended up walking together. Her daughter, N, got down and she and Rosemary walked the rest of the way holding hands (awww, how sweet), clutching so tight that a small boy trying to come the other way had to phyically prise them apart to get past (though he could have walked round).
I did pretty well, for me, though missed some important follow-ups, such as when I responded to her question 'Where on S Road do you live?', I should have added 'What about you?' We chatted a bit about her baby (1 year old) and our imminent baby (apparently I don't look 5 months pregnant - those of you going to the BMB meet-up on Sunday can check this out for yourselves). I was surprised to find that she knew my name (she bumped the buggy into me, and said 'Sorry, Tash. Are you OK?' How does she know my name and I don't know hers? She was probably in my class at school, or something and I'm being my usual forgetful self. Perhaps there's a list somewhere of children's and parents' names. Who knows? I certainly don't.
As we got closer to the school, we had to stop every few yards for some parent to say hello to her. She seemed to know everyone. The girls waited very patiently each time, while I was thinking 'Come on! I'm late already!' but not wanting either to separate the girls, or mess up this opportunity. She stopped to talk to at least three other parents, including the new Green county councillor (I voted for someone else) and waved hello to a whole bunch more. At one point she turned to me and said 'It gets ridiculous the more people you know at school. Takes forever to get through everyone,' to which I responded something inane like 'Well, I'm amazed at how many people you know!'
Anyway, I think it's some kind of progress. Maybe. I did run straight off after dropping Rosemary off. Didn't hang around to wait for her and walk back down the hill, as she was talking to the playgroup leader and I had work to get on with. But I still have lots of work to do on this whole being sociable thing. Perhaps some of you can help me practise on Sunday?
It's probable that, if Rosemary hadn't decided to walk with N, I would have just hurried us on past, for fear of saying something stupid, or foisting myself on a mum who didn't really want to talk to me, or just general social ineptitude. So, thank you Rosemary, and Eleanor who is now an added talking point. There may be hope for me yet.