Hello blogiverse, I'm giving blogging yet another try! Yes, yes, move to the sides of the room once you're in...don't want to block the throngs at the doorway.
As you'll note from the website address, I originally titled this blog "the Mommy Army" as a result of the chronological confluence of reading about the Mahdi Army and attending my first mommy-and-me Toddler Time at our local library. Clearly, there are many, many differences between these two organizations. In fact, just about the only similarities are that "mommy" sounds like "Mahdi" and that I was impressed by the degree of discipline and informal organization that had sprung up to fill some of the long hours of at-home toddler-parenting. The mommies clearly had a useful battle dress code in effect when I attended - jeans, clogs or loafers, and an LL Bean-type fleece jacket - and our drill leader made short work of the hour, packing in a good two dozen songs and rhymes in addition to an an inspiring story and a short ball workout. Having been entirely outside of what I immediately, in my head, labeled "the Mommy army," I was a bit taken aback. Parenting had seemed like an intensely personal activity to that point - we remained mainly cocooned in the house except for walks around the neighborhood for the better part of a year - but I realized that once your child is in public, joining society and such, you are part of a different class of people than you were before you had the baby. And joining a new social group takes some substantial socialization.
This process (a.k.a., my bellybutton) is really very interesting. Thank goodness there's a whole internet full of people just waiting to read all the mental lint I can dig up on the subject.