Moms

A little less conversation

Oh, the sweet sound of your child's first words. You wait and wait to hear that first "mama" or "dada," and then you yearn to find out what will be next. With Nora, we didn't have to wait long.

"Mama" was first, followed within a month by "dada." And then the words came spilling out, and they haven't really ever stopped.

No, seriously, that kid never stops talking.

She wakes up talking in her crib, and she goes to sleep by telling herself stories or singing her favorite songs. In her waking hours, she more or less constantly narrates her life as it unfolds: "Nora walking!" "Nora eating apples!" "Murray barking!" "Mama trying hard to listen to fascinating story on NPR but failing miserably because Nora constantly talking!"

Most of the time, it's hilarious. Her little voice pipes up with all sorts of profound observations (a recent favorite: "Nora not wearing any pants!"). But sometimes it gets to be a bit much, like when someone else, maybe one of the grownups who lives around here, would like to say something.

It's a common complaint among stay-at-home moms: the lack of grown-up conversation. Sure, long discussions about poop or Dora the Explorer are great, but, you know, sometimes you'd like to talk about the European financial crisis RPattz and KStew's spectacular breakup. Sometimes I'd like to listen to my husband tell me about his day at work, or, rarely, maybe something remotely interesting happened to me that I'd like to tell him about.

We try to converse at the dinner table, but most of the time I just give up. I start a sentence, and kiddo either talks over me or I have to interrupt myself so many times -- "Please don't throw your food!" "Don't kick the dog!" "Can you eat two more pieces of chicken?" -- that I lose the thread of what I was talking about.

Sometimes I can just laugh that off. But other times it plunges me into something like despair. Because it's one thing to lose out on a conversation if you've had 30 other bits of adult interaction throughout the day. But when you haven't talked about one serious thing to one actual grownup in one full day? It's crushing.

We're trying to teach Nora that everyone deserves a chance to speak, and sometimes she's starting to yield when we tell her "Nora, please wait, Dada would like to talk to Mama right now." But she's a little young to fully grasp the concept, so our choices usually are to either talk over her or give up.

One day, when I can get a word in edgewise, maybe I can catch up on all the conversations I've had to give up on. And then that kid's going to get a run for her money in the talkathon that ensues.

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