I’ve been duly going to baby groups for the past eight months.
I’ve put in the time, I’ve trekked across town to various groups and I’ve sat in rooms that smell strongly of poop whilst wondering how on earth the culprit’s mama can’t smell there’s a code brown situation going on.
I haven’t done this for me (well, ok, a sit down and a cup of tea is always nice), I’ve done it for my baby.
7 Reasons My Baby Is Rubbish At Making Friends
I want her to have some baby friends so I’ve been parading her around the local baby groups in an attempt to find her some.
The only problem is she’s really rubbish at making friends. It doesn’t matter how friendly I am with the other mamas, how hilarious my jokes are (very, in case you were wondering) or how much I compliment the other babies, the other kids simply aren’t going to want to be friends with my baby because:
#1: She Pokes Them In The Eye
I don’t know why, I can only assume she is a tiny psychopath, but every time she meets another baby, she pokes them in the eye.
It doesn’t matter how smiley the other baby is, how well they share their toys or how tiny they are, my daughter crawls over and pokes them in the eye.
I spend most of my time just apologising to other mothers about her behaviour. When we arrive at groups now, I hear hushed whispers of ‘there she is, the eye-poker’ as people recoil in horror and put their nappy bags on the empty seats next to them.
#2: She Is Usually Covered In Snot
My baby’s nose is like a leaky faucet that just won’t stop dripping. She always has at least one thick caterpillar of mucus hanging out of her nose but, quite often, there are two of them.
I wipe them. Of course, I wipe them but that does not deter them. Her face is their home, it is where the wild caterpillar roam, I try to move them along, to set them free, but they always return home to their favourite spot above her top lip.
When she goes crawling over to the other babies to say hi, the snot caterpillars go with her. They shake and tremble as she ploughs her way through the toys, they shift slightly as she curls her lips to smile and, quite simply, they repel the other babies. Nobody wants a friend with a permanent moustache of snot on their face.
#3: She Screams At Them
If any baby is foolish enough to stay put and meet my baby, she soon scares them off with her siren-like screeching. It’s not a happy excited screech but a blood-curdling aggressive screech that starts at the pit of her stomach and tumbles out of her like a warning.
It has been known to make other babies cry, to startle them and leave them in tears, as my daughter shrieks angrily at them from across the baby walker.
Sometimes she finds a baby she likes the look of and just chases them around the room squealing. When this happens, my baby has a huge smile plastered onto her face and the other baby usually looks terrified.
#4: She Uses Them As A Ladder
‘Oh look,’ my baby thinks, ‘a head, I will use that to lean on.’ And there goes another budding friendship, squished to the curb by my daughter’s hefty weight.
She grips their head and pulls herself up. The baby shrinks slightly, trying to fight back against the force upon their head, but she is too strong and too weighty for them.
I rush across the room and remove her. If the baby was unfortunate enough to have hair then I have to untangle her fists from the mass of hair first, and plonk her down somewhere else. She immediately scans the room to find her next victim.
#5: She Steals Dummies
My baby doesn’t have a dummy but you wouldn’t know this about her if you saw her at a baby group. She spends most of baby group with a dummy in her mouth whilst I run after her, pulling it from her mouth and returning it to its rightful owner.
She loves dummies. If a baby crawls past her with a dummy in his mouth, she will immediately take off after him and pursue him until she gets what she wants. It’s usually relatively easy, the babies tend to be in shock during the attack and simply sit wide-mouthed watching her crawl away with their dummy pressed between her gums.
This week, she stole a dummy from a toddler. He was twice her size and could toddle away but she is a fast crawler so she caught up with him, pulled herself up against him and then yanked the dummy from his mouth. Why would anyone want to be friends with a thief?
#6: She Is Gross
She drools a lot. When she sees a kid she wants to be friends with, assuming she can suppress her desire to climb them, scream at them and steal their dummy, she puts them off anyway by spitting all over them.
There is usually a thick string of drool connecting her mouth and the toy she most recently played with. Everything she touches is left with a glistening slug trail of saliva across it, a territorial marker to let the other babies that she has been there, she has played with those blocks. Unsurprisingly, the other babies are somewhat put off by this outlandish display of bodily fluids.
When she isn’t drooly, she’s pooping. Have you ever been sitting in a bar chatting to somebody new when all of a sudden the overpowering stench of poop fills the air and, as you fight back the urge to gag, you realise it’s coming from your new friend?
No. Of course not. That doesn’t happen, unless you’re trying to become besties with my baby daughter who is a pooping machine with little understanding of the societal rules surrounding when it is and is not ok to poop.
#7: She Hits Them
The other day, I thought I was about to witness the beautiful moment my daughter made her first friend. She was sitting next to a baby boy who is a similar age to her. He is her equal in size, stature and development.
They were sitting on either side of a plastic block in the middle of a rug at baby group. They were playing with it, each gently snatching off the other and taking it in turns to explore the toy. The little boy in question has dark hair on his head which seemed to fascinate my light-haired little girl.
She leaned over and started to stroke him gently on the head, her fingers brushing against the soft tufts of hair on his head. The other mum looked over and smiled at me, she was clearly also excited about the budding friendship. Her baby smiled at my baby who stroked up once more before lifting her arm up high and bringing it crashing down on his head.
Now, she’s a baby so it wasn’t exactly hard and he wasn’t hurt, but I don’t think he’ll be adding her on Facebook any time soon.