Overheard at the local park the other week....
I'm sitting on a bench, passively ignoring my lot who are enjoying the enclosed play area (I'm detailing the fact that it is enclosed, so you don't think less of my mothering skills for passively ignoring them).
Sitting on the next bench are 3 "Alpha Mothers". These are the Mothers who look like they're about to either:
a) go to war (camouflage clad to the extreme);
b) compete in some fashionable Olympic event (fashionable because their entire outfit is faux effortlessly co-ordinated; Olympic event because it's one of those sprayed-on lycra ensembles with impossibly white sneakers and pulled back hair).
Admittedly, I am channeling a circus clown in my get up of whatever mismatched items were at the top of the washing pile and therefore the least pungent.
I'm sure they won't mind me going over their conversation on the world wide web, since they weren't attempting to keep it private at the time. They were so loud talking over the top of one another that they almost drowned out my kids...almost.
Alpha1 was commenting on her daughter's school and how they didn't take her daughter's educational needs seriously. Her daughter, you see, is artistically gifted, and deserves focussed teaching to channel her creative talents (only slight paraphrasing taking place here).
Alpha2 made all the right supportive "hmm...yes..." noises for all of 5 seconds before launching into her own parental woes. Seems her own son has similar educational issues. Alpha2 is married to a Dentist...as she's managed to squeeze into the conversation 4 times since I actively started keeping a tally. Their Number 1 son has shown such an interest in Daddy's work, that Alpha2 would like to see an educational pathway towards Dentistry. Which doesn't sound completely over the top, until you realise she is talking about early Primary education...not High school...not leading in to University...
Alpha3 seemed to ignore the other two just waiting to butt in with her own concerns. Seems she has been watching Junior Masterchef on TV, and can't believe the "averageness" and ineptitude (her words) of the contestants, cute as they are. Not only do her two kids have more talent in their little fingers (her words again), but they are also much more photogenic and would look better on camera (also her words). You guessed it, she's the one in the fashoinable Olympic outfit...with a full face of makeup for her 9am visit to the park.
By now I'm scanning the playground for these child geniuses (what do you call a group of child geniuses...a genii?), half considering asking for an autograph and recipe tips from Alpha 3's prodigies, booking an early appointment for a scale and clean with Alpha 2's boy (since it is so impossible to get in to see a Dentist these days), and commissioning a piece of artwork from the as-yet-unknown artistic talent that is Alpha 1's daughter, in the hope that I will make squillions from it when she is finally discovered.
I only see lots and lots of little people, nothing but toddlers and a few Kindergarten aged kids.
After about 10 minutes the Alpha's have agreed their children rule the world in their superiority to all other life forms, and call their kids to leave.
Imagine my shock as Alpha 1's artistic progeny comes over from the corner of the playground where she'd been sitting alone, doing nothing of artistic merit (already the brooding loner artist type?).
Alpha 2's Dentist has been peeling paint off the monkey bars. Nothing of note or brilliance there.
Alpha 3's Michelin star Chef's in the making had been - ironically enough - making mud pies in the sand pit.
Four very normal looking children approached. THEY ARE EACH APPROXIMATELY 4 YEARS OF AGE!
Is it not a lot of unfair and completely undue pressure to put on a kid who is still trying to master their own bodily functions, to expect them to channel into a career path purely because they showed a toddler's level of passing interest in something that their Alpha mother's approved of?
No, I'm not just panicking about my pole dancer - come - supermodel without clothes.
I just thought it was worth an eye-rolling laugh, because I'm sure we all know Alpha Mothers of some sort - be it at school, play group, mothers group, or just in general.
A noteworthy point to finish on here : Un-Alpha Mother me would like to report that my offspring were doing the following at the playground on this day -
Miss5 swinging on a swing (totally co-ordinated, which is a plus for someone with my genetic make up) therefore she must be a trapeze artist or world champion gymnast in the making.
Mstr2 was eating sand in the sandpit, rather closely to the future Chef's, so he is potentially going to become Australia's most renowned and discerning food critic.
Miss2 was holding court yelling and stalking around the slide, with a group of 3 loyal followers. Total Politician in the making...the good kind, not the dodgy and much hated kind, naturally.