The Mommy Ghetto

Today was that day I've been dreading. I knew that it would happen, I knew that it was inescapable. I didn't know when it would happen, but with the same surety that the religious know that they are going to heaven or hell, I knew I was going to end up here at some point. I went to the public library for Story Hour.

It was as strange and horrifying as I imagined, and it proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am a misanthropic crank who is more well-adjusted when I stay in or around my own cave.

The mothers themselves obviously care enough about their kids that they take them on these excursions of humiliation whereby their tiny tots, unable to sing "The Wheels on the Bus" themselves, leave it to their indefatigable and jolly parents to be embarrassed on their behalf.

I too sang these songs which up until today I had willfully and artfully avoided singing to the bun. You have to, right? You'd look awfully suspect if you showed up to Story Hour and then sat through "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" without at least mouthing the words. The Parent Gestapo might stop you on your way out. "Ma'am, I noticed that you didn't participate in the planned sing-along today. Would you care to file a report?" as the billy club bounces up and down behind his back.

And I find it disquieting to hang out in a room with only Mothers and their children. Mothers: Capital 'M'.

I'm one too, which is great: I love the bun, I love caring for him and I love being able to single-mindedly attend to him. But didn't feminism address this whole thing a few years ago? Aren't men supposed to be a part of the equation now? You go to Story Hour, you go to the park, it's almost exclusively the terra firma of "The Mother." And as a chick who was one of the guys for about a hundred years, I find it weird to hang out with exclusively women.

I know that as a good mother I'm supposed to do all these things. I want to make the bun's life as rich and rewarding as possible. I just didn't want to be corralled in The Ghetto to do it.

I guess I'm just a cranky old hag who finds the sing-songy jollity of it a little cloying and claustophobic. Arrest me.