Etiquette question

When you meet someone at a party for the first time and you’re holding a baby and they’re holding a baby, what is the polite way to make introductions? Are you like “And who is this little guy/gal?” while motioning to their child? Do you extend the arm that isn’t holding your own little munchkin and say “Hi, nice to meet you, I’m [whatever your name is].” And if you do that, do you expect them to shake your hand (web to web, people, no dead fish handshake BS, I am so sick of that)? Or are you ok with it if they make eye contact with their child instead of you and say, without looking up, “This is Bradyn/Madison/Cody/[insert other trendy name here].” At that point do you give up on this person as someone with whom you would even want to converse altogether, and just go along with it and say “This is Sweet Pea, nice to meet you,” even though the adults haven’t actually met?

At this point, you’re either like, “Pam you’ve spent waaay too much time thinking about this” or you’re like “SNOOZER, I don’t have kids” and you stopped reading nine sentences ago. But if you’re still with me, don’t worry I won’t take up too much more time because Sweet Pea just woke up from a nap. That means I have exactly 30 more precious minutes to blog. We are testing a strategy where we give her some time to cry when she wake up from a nap. (Doesn’t “testing a strategy”sound way better than “trying anything, anything at all, because I am on the verge of totally losing it.”) Sweet Pea has this awful habit of crying for 20-30 minutes, napping for 30 minutes and waking up, which I am trying to break her of. Ever since I started letting her deal with herself for 30 minutes instead of going in and rescuing her still tired, cranky self, she has figured out how to get herself back to sleep. She’s done it three times this week. So I’m feeling pretty bad-ass. I’ll take bad-assery where I can get it these days.

Anyway, parents, can you weigh in here? What’s the proper introduction etiquette when meeting another parent at a party which is not a children’s birthday party? (Are the rules different if it is a child-oriented event?) This weekend at a regular, non-children’s birthday party party, I said to a stranger, “Hello, I’m Pam, nice to meet you!” It was obvious this woman and I had something in common, as we each had a baby on our respective hips (though perhaps that was all?). She looked at her little darling and told me his name and age. Not to be mean, but I wanted to meet the adult. That’s why I introduced myself and not my child. Not that my whole life doesn’t revolve around her, it pretty much does, I just thought the way for two adults to start talking to each other was to learn each other’s names. Am I crazy? Discuss.
This is polite, right?

4 thoughts on “Etiquette question

  1. Cheryl says:

    I think people who tend to be shy hide behind their kids to deal with social interactions they would otherwise find scary or awkward. And there’s probably an element of just being so used to everything being about the kid that it’s hard to break out of it. But I agree with you- the one time I introduce kid-first is with strangers at the park whose kid has peaked Mimi’s interest.

  2. Katie says:

    I don’t know what etiquette dictates, but I always introduce myself first. I don’t worry about handshaking if my hands are full. I’m all about practical. I do always make eye contact. I introduce the kids second. If I were at a children’s party where the kids are the focus, I might help out my kids by introducing them (without introducing myself), but that’s mostly because they can be shy and seem to need some pushing…

  3. ThirdCultureMama says:

    It’s easier to say: “now who is this little guy/gal” than to talk to the adult. It seems to happen every time I have the babe on my hip. I would love it if a mama asked me my name first, but would immediately know they are either very self-confident, they have thought through this matter at length, or they have read your post. :-)Sorry about the intermittent naps. This baby sleep world is a huge mystery. But I love that you are willing to see (test) if Sweet Pea can resettle. So often, I rescue mine, only to find that grouchy pants would have loved to be sleeping there longer.

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