One of the many talents my boys have inherited from me 😉 is to conduct “the scan”. When we enter a new environment, we will take in the room/yard/area to scope out the people inhabiting it. We can get a quick lay of the land, a brief idea on who’s who and where we need to be and who or what we need to avoid. If the room/yard/area is hard to read we’ll hang back until we can a better feel for the people.
On Jack’s first day of school last year, we entered the school gate and joined the masses of happy, crying, relieved, devastated, snotty parents. I was too busy focusing on Jack to really pay too much attention to the other parents (plus I had family with me to make sure I didn’t embarrass Jack with my ugly crying and screams from the gate of “mummy looooovvvveeessss you”). But when it was pick up time, it was on like donkey kong.
When I waked through the gate that afternoon I saw it. Little groups of mums. All crop dusted around the prep area. Shit.
If there’s one thing I don’t do, it’s cliquey mum crap.
Sure, I’m super friendly and will talk to just about anyone. But I immediately spotted a couple of groups that straight away did not feel like my people. My inner warning siren was going mental and it told me move away. MOVE AWAY.
I did “the scan” and tried to get an idea on these little groups.
There was the gym mums, all fit and fabulous and coincidentally still in the same gym gear they were in that morning. They make you want to suck in your stomach as you walk past and throw out random health words like “kale” or “vegan inspired tofu burgers” or something.
The gossip folks were all huddled and doing a scan of their own round the yard. They’d take a little glance outside of their scrum then huddle back in to discuss their findings with sneers and snickering to boot. Occasionally they’ll talk to you but you quickly realise it’s only to grab any gossipy info they squeeze from you. Sometimes I want to give them the finger. Or turn up in a really daggy tracksuit with my hair in rollers. That’d give them something to talk about.
The P&C mums were all excitedly chatting about their special little people and the craft and shit they’ll be getting up to, fundraisers they can organise, volunteering they’re part of and the book club shite that just sounds like so much super fun. They are actually lovely people, who make you feel like a shithouse lazy faux mum.
The loners were making it quite clear from day one that they had no interest in talking to any other parents, ever. They radiated “f off”, stood waaaaaay back, arms crossed, fiddling with their phones to display just how busy/uninterested they were in everyone else. Sometimes I just want to go and stand really close to them, staring, to see if it freaks them out.
The randoms had their own small group and didn’t appear to like or want to get to know anyone else. They looked angry and perhaps were gang affiliated in some way. They tend to have the naughty kids. I can see why. They remind me of those people we all went to school with who flushed heads down toilets and bullied people because it was fun. Note to self: don’t get on their bad side. They look punchy.
Then there was the floaters. I’m a floater. We, like I said, like to take in the situation. We’ll attempt contact with some groups and work out in about 2.5 seconds if they’re the group for us before we make some excuse and move on continuing our search for our people. This takes time. And precision. If you enter the wrong group and stay too long before you realise you need to get out, it may be too late. We don’t tend to fit with any of the above groups.
After a couple of weeks or so, I finally found my people. There’s 5 of us. We’re the girls that don’t do cliquey and none of the other groups were for us. Don’t get me wrong, we still chat to everyone else. We’re not total bitches. We’ve just been lucky enough to have gravitated towards each other and formed our own little gang of weirdos (but a nice one) where we all feel safe and protected from the other crazies. It’s lots of fun, with loads of support and positivity and laughs. We’ve all accepted our individual quirks, we share things, we vent, we crack each other up, we look out for each other and we really care about one another. Anyone is welcome in our gang.
Except maybe the punchy ones.
I could not be more grateful for these girls.
We need a gang name.
Do you have the “groups” at your school?