Parents: let’s give our shop talk a timeout

parents talking

Let me set the scene for you.

Shawn and I are exercising our toddler at the local playcentre when our newborn Jack, who has been snoozing in the stroller, wakes up. He’s hungry. Happy to relax for a moment, I sit down on the couch, whip out my cover, and Jack goes to town. I sense someone watching me from the other end of the couch. I pretend not to notice and continue watching Layla exit her plastic car Dukes of Hazard style. The ogling continues. Finally I turn to see who my admirer is – a mom not unlike myself.

“I wish I could have done that,” she says to me.


“I wasn’t able to breastfeed my son Charlie. He’s over there.” She points to Charlie baking invisible muffins in the kitchenette.

“Luckily I was able to bottle feed, because I was producing like a Jersey cow.”

“Oh yeah?” Good God I’m trapped.

“Yeah, it would have been nice to breastfeed him though. You know, it’s a good bonding opportunity.”


“I won’t get another chance either. Charlie was colicky so we’re not having another one.”

“Oh, that’s too bad.” Save me.

“He’s all good now though. We’ve just gone through potty training. It was hard, but he got the hang of it after a few accidents on the floor.”

[Insert uncomfortable laughter here]

These types of conversations happen to me all the time when I’m out with the kids. I get it; I’m a parent. I should automatically want to talk shop right? Wrong.

I am fully aware that I talk about parenting and my kids a lot on social media, and of course this blog. That’s why I need a break from it once and a while. My children are a massive part of my life, but there is still a sliver left in my pie chart that represents my non-mom side. Conversations with other adults are a rare treat for parents whose days are typically filled with nursery rhymes and Elmo laughs. Why spend these opportunities talking about baby acne and fecal retention? NASA just made a successful flyby Pluto. They found a piece of that missing plane. Donald Trump is running for president for God’s sake! I think it’s time we take these scarce child-free moments of silence to talk about adult things.

Just as this woman is wrapping up her potty talk, Layla comes trotting out of the bathroom in just a diaper. My husband following behind with her shorts in his hand. Explosive diaper. I couldn’t be happier.

“Well, as you can see, my daughter isn’t potty trained yet. Gotta go,” I say to the woman.

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