I usually like making small talk with other moms at the park. A mom with 3 kids (ages 3, 2, and 1) got there before us and we started chatting about kids and mom stuff. A couple minutes later another woman and child showed up.
At first I wasn't quite sure if she was his mother or a young grandmother, but she referred to herself as "mommy", so that clarified it. She came over and opened with the fact that it was her son's 2nd birthday today. Normal enough.
Then her next line was "Don't you hate it when the man thinks it's your responsibility to do all the cooking and cleaning and child care? And that he expects you to do all the potty training by yourself?"
Neither the other woman nor I responded for an awkward moment and she went on, "And don't you hate it when the man says 'you wanted the kid, so you gotta take care of him'?" At this point I felt obligated to make some sort of response. "That would be pretty frustrating."
I then tried to carry on my original conversation with the mother of 3 with the the new woman interjecting her comments. Not a big deal. I don't mind if she joins the conversation.
As we hit another lull she then busted out with, "I see teenage kids here at the park smoking sometimes. You know, around 12 or 13 years old. Once my boy picked one of their cigarette butts and I told him it was yucky." I still wasn't quite sure how I was supposed to respond, so I just said, "Yeah, I used to come in the afternoons, but there were always a lot of teenagers from the Jr. High, so we just come in the morning now."
Not long after, the woman looks at Dean and asks what size of clothes he wears. I tell her mostly 18 mo. clothes. She said, "I have some 18 mo. and 2T clothes my son has grown out of. Would you like them?"
Awkward moment number 2. It was very nice of her to offer, but it was quite uncomfortable that she was asking me this for two reasons. I'd only known her for about 5 min. and she and her child were somewhat shabbily dressed. I just responded, "I think we're all set, but thanks!"
The kids went about playing a while longer and there were a few more bits of odd conversations with the lady. Dean kind of played catch with the birthday boy (though he doesn't really get the concept...he just picks up the ball and turns away from everyone and throws it or drops it behind his head). After their game of "catch" the mom says, "If you're not busy on Saturday, we'd love to have you come over for his birthday party."
Awkward moment number 3. Once again, a nice offer, but I didn't even know her name nor did she know mine! I felt bad saying I already had plans, but I really was not prepared to commit myself and Dean to go to a birthday party for a child I didn't know at a home I didn't know with parents I didn't know (who obviously have some marital issues). So I said, "Oh, sorry, we've got stuff going on." I felt so guilty saying this because it's not entirely true. Matt has to fix our fence, but I have no set plans. I just felt very uncomfortable and didn't want to go!
So, now I kind of feel bad, but I am unsure of how I should have responded in this situation.