I don’t like gangs. I don’t like cliques. I don’t like ‘Here come the girls’, loose women, hen night whooping and hollering. I think all-female workplaces are a Very Bad Idea and I don’t just mean the syncing of periods. In the immortal words of Frasier Crane, women shouldn’t be allowed to talk to one another. I’ve dabbled in all female-gangs before and it generally Doesn’t End Well.
However, I now find myself in a gang. Moreover, according to dh I am in fact the leader of said gang. As da kidz say WTF?*
As your children get older they have the temerity to start choosing their own friends. I now understand why my parents would occasionally get a bit concerned about me having yet another best friend. Or rather, the ensuing devastation that would be caused by me and said BFF falling out approximately two weeks later. Luckily the girls have pretty decent taste and have accumulated a nice circle of friends. Though friendship come playdates, through playdates come birthday parties and through parties coms social events with parents but without children. This means that dh and I spend quite a lot of time with people who we wouldn’t have otherwise met if it weren’t for the children.
As I stood at yet another birthday party at the weekend, chatting with the usual crowd of parents and offspring (and very nice they all are too), I was struck by the fact that I’d seen three of four of the families several times at different parties and events over the last few months. It’s got to the point now where the presence of a different family feels a bit….odd. If the girls go to a party and some or all of their core gang aren’t present I feel (my favourite word du jour coming up) discombobulated.
When the girls started nursery I noticed that some of the parents already gravitated towards each other and I felt that we were being (unintentionally) excluded. Now I understand. I’m now a member of the Little Stars clique. We’re the feisty, shouty, rebellious parents that kick up a fuss when we’re not happy. When we mention that our children are meeting up for extra-curricular events you can see carers’ eyes widening and/or rolling (impressive if you can do both at the same time) and they know that Things Will be Discussed.
Dh and I were recently discussing the fact that the girls have added a couple of extra children to their friendship group. “Are you going to let them in our gang?” He asked me. I scoffed for a few seconds and asked in genuine amazement “What do you mean? It’s not our gang?”. He grinned and said “It is so your gang”. I thought about it and I can’t disagree with him really. It’s a terrible burden and one I’ll have to learn to shoulder but I’ll get through it.
Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go and bulk order wine, houmous and carrot sticks for our next round of ‘meet the guinea pigs’ playdates.
*I don’t think da yoof say any of this stuff