Tuesday, 4 October 2011

I Want to Break Up with the Old Ladies

Today was the first Tuesday-Coffee-Morning-Thing with the Old Ladies from the University (aka the Newcomers Society). You might remember them from back in March. Well, Eliz and I went, because we did make friends there last semester, and I thought we might see some familiar faces, back for another school year.

It was a 50% fail. The successful 50% was not in seeing familiar faces, or having fun, or letting Elizabeth have fun, or even enjoying the coffee. The successful 50% was meeting a nice woman and her baby, and having lunch with them afterwards, and deciding to meet up again on Friday. The failing 50% was that I hate the Old Ladies Tuesday-Coffee-Morning-Thing!!

They have a section with toys, but you can't actually just let your kids play, because they put out the noisiest toys!! Eliz found a grocery-scanner toy, with a cash drawer that slid open and shut. You think she's going to stop opening and closing that drawer? Get in line! Think again! And then they come over and do the closed-eye thing and shush you! I mean, seriously, I was all trying to be nice, and meet other parents, and say good things about the Newcomers Society, but help me help you, Old Ladies!

The weird thing is, if you talk to one Old Lady, she'll be nice to you. It's only when they are trying to be Captain McOrganizey and Sergeant Shush that they're mean. The problem is, they are more often organizing and shushing than not!

They plan these outings around Cambridge, and in the brochure, they have a * next to the outings that are not appropriate for children. They had an outing tonight at 5 pm - to the Evensong service at Kings College Chapel, with no *!!! I was so stoked! I have always wanted to go into the chapel, but we never seem to get around to it (read: if we're in town together, on a weekend or whatever, we'd rather have a pint than go and tour colleges). I figured it would be a 45 minute or so service, and so, I packed a whole bunch of Eliz's toys, all her favourite foods and books, and we met Matthew at the College at 4:50.

Turns out, the service didn't start until 5:30. So we ended up waiting around outside for 40 minutes, in a line of regular tourists, Old Ladies, and other Newcomers. Since we were outside, we were letting Eliz run around, and squawk, and be a bit noisy, because we were outside. I didn't want to use up my arsenal of toys and treats before it all started. So just before we went in, Eliz was getting a bit hungry (it was 5:20 by this time), and a bit fidgety and grumpy, and this 'helpful' Old Lady looks at Matthew as he is wrestling her in his arms and she is arching her back to escape holding her and says, "Well, huh, she won't make it for a 45 minute service in the chapel," in that sort of one-eyebrow-raised, judgey way that Old Ladies have of speaking. Well, duh, lady, of course she won't, but guess what: we aren't idiots, and we are fully prepared for our baby to start getting antsy after about 20 minutes! We were totally prepared to leave whenever she started making noise, because we aren't stupid! Why do people think that young parents are all stupid? (Did you see what I did there? I called us 'young'. Ha!)

Ugh, I get so frustrated when people do that thing where they say one thing, but mean another, and it's about your child. See, that lady didn't say, "she won't make it through a service", she said, "you shouldn't have brought her here." To which I say: where's the *?? I came to an *-free event, Old Lady, and I'm going to enjoy at least 2 songs by the boys choir before my child starts to lose it, so give me a chance here!And another thing: if a 45-minute event starts at 5:30, don't tell me it starts at 5, because that half-hour makes a huge difference when you're 18 months old! Ugh!! Jeez, Old Ladies!!!

We did leave after 18 minutes. I heard 3 songs, all of which were ah-may-zing. We pointed out the ceiling to Elizabeth, we looked at all the stained glass and the pretty lights around the choir, and then she read the 5 books I brought her and did some colouring. And ate some cheerios. And played with her Little People. And drank from my water bottle. And then we left. Because guess what: we aren't dumb.

Here is what the inside of Kings College looks like:
It is pretty amazing. I'm glad we went. No photos allowed of the Chapel, sorry folks.

So, I think I'm going to break it off with the Old Ladies. I just can't take it anymore. I want to like them, but really, I don't think I do.

To congratulate you for making it this far in this rant-y blog, here is a super cute photo of Elizabeth playing with finger puppets. Yes, one of them is a Ninja Turtle. 

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