Monthly Archives: October 2013

Fun, Fun, Fun?

In which the Moms attend a fun fair and live to tell the tale.

KathyThe scene: a fall fun fair hosted by Doodlebug and Princess Slim’s Girl Scout troop. Bean bag toss. Find-the-penny-in-the-hay. Food sales. Bunches of kids hopped up on sugar. An introvert’s ultimate nightmare, right?

But not for me. Or so I thought. Because I have this thing down now. I’m being smart about my time this year. Yes, I got sucked into going to Costco for food, but I said no to other jobs I thought would be draining. Most importantly, I knew I could take the afternoon off when it was all over. (Thank you, iDad!)

During the fun fair, I was fine. I chatted. I helped. I grumbled a little with Tiffany, but only a little, I swear! On the way home, though, I could feel the energy, adrenaline, faux-extroversion, whatever-it-was that had powered me through the past five hours draining away. And I spent the rest of the day feeling tired, cold, achy, and mildly nauseated. I was useless.

I’ve been there before, that completely used-up place. Not lately, though, not to that extent. I guess I’d started to think I wouldn’t have to be there again. I’ve spent so much time writing for this blog, talking about being an introvert with my friends and family, coming up with ways to honor and respect my personality that I thought maybe I was… what, cured? Like there’s something wrong with me? Apply some Susan Cain, stat!

I’m happy I’m an introvert. And, after some time with an awesome book on Saturday afternoon and a quiet Sunday with my family, of course I’ve recovered from the “fun” fair. Still, sometimes it’s so frustrating that I have to take that time, that I can’t bounce back quicker. Sometimes I still feel like everyone else is going along fine and I’m the weird one, the only one who can’t keep up.

I know that’s not true. Tiffany reports that she went home and took a nap, and I’m willing to bet that nearly every adult there was worn out when we were done. It was a hard day, but it was worth it – overall, the event was a success, and the girls provided an afternoon of fun for the community.

So next time there’s a big event, of course I will help out. I will keep tweaking my coping techniques, I will keep speaking up for what I need, and I will suggest that someone else handle the Costco run. Because, seriously. That place is INSANE.

— Kathy

Playground Politics

KathyLast week it rained for days and days. We forgot what blue sky looked like. Doodlebug went through severe bike-time withdrawal. I considered buying an ark.

There was one benefit, though – no playground time after school.

Playground time means other moms, and when other moms are around, you have to chat. I’m not such a fan of chatting – I like talking to my friends, of course, but none of them are at the playground after school. They’re at work, or in the kiss and ride line, or meeting their kids somewhere else on the school grounds, which means I have a choice: stand around looking at my phone or try to make conversation with people I don’t know very well.

It’s probably no surprise that I usually go with the phone option. But when I do, I always end up feeling like a middle-school kid eating alone in the cafeteria, shunned by all. This is one of the areas where my introversion and my shyness don’t play so well together – I do realize that, by talking to the other parents, I could get to know them better. If I knew them better, we would have things to talk about and I could avoid the dreaded chatting.

This is Doodlebug’s third year at this school, and all the parents I consider friends are also my neighbors, or the parents of Doodlebug’s friends, or both. In other words, people I see more than every once in a while on the playground. They’re people I’ve known long enough to have real conversations with.

They’re also my Facebook friends, mostly, which isn’t surprising – as an introvert, I’m much more talkative online. I feel weird friending people I’ve only talked to a few times in real life, though, so until I can boost my courage and take that step, I’ll be over by the monkey bars, checking the weather forecast.

— Kathy