The art of having a conversation while children are present is my biggest pet peeve. And believe me, it’s not for lack of trying. It’s supremely frustrating trying to talk above and through the chattering haze of children with equal parts grace and respect. And if you’ve been the person with children attempting this, or the person who doesn’t have children trying to talk to your friend whose child has taken center stage in your conversation scenario, you too can relate.
Surely I can’t be the only one who feels ridiculously short-changed and slightly embittered by the real-life consequence of these perennial interruptions? For me, it’s gotten so bad that I can no longer string a complete coherent sentence together even when children aren’t present.
Moms, ask yourselves: When was the last time you were able to catch an uninterrupted 10 minutes to ruminate on that horrific moment in The Hills when Heidi Montag goes to visit her mother for the first time after umpteen surgeries? You ran for the phone desperately dialing the numbers to your best mommy BFF to talk about (a) how you would have reacted the same way, (b) how “some” mothers are jerks, and you totally would have placed square blame on the shoulders of Mother Montag for not showing her daughter “enough” self-love, or (c) how privileged preppy white males are the scourge of the earth and you blame MTV for all of the world’s problems.
Except none of this happened because at that precise moment, the custom-ordered lunch that was delivered to your 3-year-old by you, her personal chef, precisely 15 minutes before your phone call, coincidentally required re-heating. Hold me back.
I recall having a telephone conversation with my daughters’ principal one afternoon about a Very Important Matter. I was completely mortified and embarrassed that my girls were continuously screaming and giggling around me no matter how many times I gave them the death stare. As I repeatedly attempted to shush them, dashing from room to room plugging my one available ear, and apologizing profusely for the endless back-chatter, the principal started laughing and said, “You don’t think that you’re the only person this happens to, do you?”