Play in the Park

This morning we went to the local library “story time” which is held at a park each Tuesday morning at the same time as a YMCA run program called “Play in the Park”.

It was nice for the sproggets to have other children to play with & it was nice for me to have a bit of breathing space from the unrelenting expectation they have had lately that I be solely responsible for their entertainment & enjoyment.

Aside from a brief “Hello” to a woman I know from activist circles in Perth, I didn’t really speak to anyone. All of the other people there clearly knew at least one other person, the parents had all separated off into smaller groups they obviously felt comfortable being in & it felt too hard to attempt infiltrating one, or more, of the groups.

I sat with the sproggets while the story was being read. It was hard to hear the voice of the woman reading the story because it was being drowned out by the voices of parents standing around the perimeter of the gazebo talking. I thought that was inconsiderate & can’t imagine going along to a story time only to be talking over the presesnter.

I had thought it would be a good opportunity to meet some local parents, and I suppose it is, but today I didn’t see anyone who felt likeminded. Every single one of the little girls was in a pink “little girl uniform”, head to toe pink with lots of frills, sparkles & impractical pouffy bits. I know pink is the accepted colour code for “girl” in Western countries, but I do still feel a bit alien when I’m at family events teaming with children in their gender uniforms. It’s not what I’m used to & it’s not what feels right to me. There was no one else there with a sling, no one breastfeeding older babies & children, no one who looked like a “kindred spirit” as Anne Shirley would say. I felt a little odd breastfeeding Babyman there, which is not something I ever felt at the playgroups we went to in Perth. Granted they were all natural learning & natural parenting playgroups while this one is open to anyone, but I never thought I’d feel so alien around other parents.

We’ll go again to the story time at the library this Thursday, and we’ll return to the park next week in the hope of meeting some friends because any socialising is better than none, but it’d be a lie to say I’m not a bit disappointed. I suppose I expected too much.

I have asked Bean to go around town & pull down the flyers we put up a couple of weeks ago calling out for other homeschooling families to make contact. I had a call today from the previous tennant of Wonderland asking me to take his dog for him! He got my number from one of the flyers & I’m a bit put out that he contacted me actually. The flyers we wrote were clearly requesting homeschoolers to contact us, there was no mention of my number being a free-for-all. I don’t appreciate receiving an unsolicited call from a virtual stranger (we met briefly at a store he works at but we didn’t even exchange names, just made the connection that we’d moved in to the house he’d just moved out of) asking me to take his dog simply because we live where he used to live! Feeling a bit vulnerable to more unsolicited contact I’ve decided I don’t want my number “out there” anymore. That will make it harder to find other unschoolers in the area, but it will give me piece of mind.

It might be time to register a new email account for a Great Southern unschooling collective & make up some new, more annonymous flyers.

posted by wildecrafted in education,journal and have No Comments

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