I've been meeting up with a few of the mums from my NCT course every Wednesday afternoon. We go to a cafe in a garden centre, which may seem like an odd choice until you know that:
- It has big comfy sofas with space around them for prams and car seats.
- There is a lovely girl at the counter who always encourages us to have cake. (I don't need encouragement to have cake.)
- The cake is delicious and served in generous slices.
- It's £1.40 for a pot of tea that yields at least three cups.
- The toasted sandwiches are excellent if you've missed lunch.
- Those of us who are breastfeeding can do so in comfort.*
I'm not an exceptionally social person, so this and one other visit are just about all I need during the week. When the bloke asks what we talked about, I often find it difficult to remember. At our last meeting, Humuhumu was being fussy. I couldn't get her to feed, she didn't want to be burped and she didn't need a nappy change. (It turned out she just wanted a cuddle.) Frustrated, I told her, "I don't understand you!" Another mum said, "Oh, it's so good to hear someone else say that." I think that sums up why it's helpful and why we're never there for less than two hours, even if the last bit of it is mostly sitting quietly or tending to our babies.
This same mum is the one who tries to get her baby and mine to interact. It would never have occurred to me to do that (See: not particularly social). I think putting Humuhumu into nursery for a day or two a week as soon as she is at least partially weaned will be the right thing to do, lest I raise a strange little hermit. She may turn out to be a strange little hermit anyway, but I'd like that to be her choice and not an imposition of my introversion.
* Interesting facts about our group: There were eight mums on my NCT course. Of those eight, three gave birth naturally. Only two are still exclusively breastfeeding, including me - and the other person who's breastfeeding also gave birth naturally. For various reasons, we're also the only ones who had immediate skin-to-skin contact with our babies post-birth.