Lull in the Conversation

It’s happened. I’ve become that mother. Oh, you know the one — and probably because you’ve done it, too. Yup, in a social gathering I talked about peanut’s poop. I swore I wouldn’t become that mama, and then, like an out of body experience, I watched in horror as the words escaped my mouth. Thankfully, it wasn’t details and I suppose it was in context (my little peanut had just been handed off to the hubby for a change after making a stinky), but did the poor, unsuspecting, non-moms at this barbecue need to know that he makes the cutest face when he’s pooping? I’m cringing just thinking about it. When did I run out of things to talk about?

Working in public and media relations, I learned a lot of random (sometimes pointless, sometimes groundbreaking) information and had to keep my finger on the pulse of the media environment, both of which proved helpful when making small talk at an office party or neighborhood gathering. Now that my regular haunts include the swings, the grocery store (who knew a 10-month old could eat SO much?) and a Stroller Strides work-out with some fellow high-heeled mamas (although I only see them in sneakers!), my conversational repertoire has become severly limited to statistics (age, weight, length of labor), sleeping patterns, transition to solids and baby’s new tricks.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy these conversations, I initiate these conversations. How else would I know what to do for teething or that rice cakes are a perfect starter solid for baby? But what happened to my party conversation?

I recently traveled back home to see the family and during a family dinner I realized I said three sentences the whole evening — and two of them were telling the waitress what I wanted. Granted, I was there sans hubby, so I was busy feeding peanut his dinner for a good portion of the chat time, but later, everyone was busy complaining about their jobs, sharing tidbits from a recent trip, and then doting on peanut. I felt like a glorified babysitter, afraid to chime in, afraid I’d lost touch with the outside world, afraid I wouldn’t have anything worthy to say. How is it that the most important job in the world sometimes makes me feel like the least important person in the room? Was a part of my soul living in the placenta that I lost after delivering peanut? I doubt it. And I don’t think I can blame it on the fact that I was wearing flats that night. I think it’s my own hang-up that because I’m not paid, and therefore validated, by an outside source, I’m just not that interesting.

The fact of the matter is I can share a lot. So the next time you see me, here are a few things I can talk about:
* the Annie Leibovitz photography exhibit I recently viewed
* what I’m reading (that isn’t “Goodnight Moon” or Parents magazine)
* my thoughts on why any presidential campaign that is longer than a pregnancy is entirely too long
* how the Boston Red Sox will probably blow their first place spot in the AL East after the All-Star break

And of course, I’m always willing to talk about my peanut. And I promise, I’ll try to leave his poop out of it.

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