I like to talk, I do. I find myself talking less and less these days, from the passing the time of day idle chit chat to just waffling on about obscure eighties indie bands at work. But I’m not actually talking. You know, growing? Learning? Someone’s interested in what you have to say.
Actually, maybe that’s it. We all talk but are we all interested in what we say?
I seem to have a default mode when talking to kids to just be really stupid. I can’t switch that part off and I will say something silly each and every day. Recently, more often than not H hides behind me, embarrassed. Yep, I am that parent.
I can live with that. But I like to talk.
Way back in time when H was a newborn, a group of us were thrown together, our collective pennies paying for a service to meet other parents due at the same time – better known as NCT. For the first year we were each others support network until gradually one by one we all went back to work again. The conversation stopped then. We’d email each other from time to time, but it doesn’t happen these days. None of us have time. Some of them have more kids. Life caught up. We lose.
Shaun and I are tired every day after work and dealing with the post-school stuff you have to deal with, or just are still ill (I feel like I’ve been ill for about two months now, run down into the ground where I can’t get any lower, desperate for sleep) – so conversation is at a minimum there too. We don’t talk any more. We talk when we need to, but my attention span right now (read : nine days getting by on 1 hour to 4 hours of sleep a night) is pretty much non-existent.
I have a new Osteopath. She’s great. We chat. A lot. I’ve had two appointments so far and I can chat about anything and everything to her – it’s like someone has flicked a switch and the old me, the one who had things to say, comes spilling out. She’s fixing me. I know what’s wrong with my back, which is for another post, but I’ve found more often than not that if I talk about anything and everything with her, she listens. It’s brilliant. I don’t feel like she’s wishing I’d shut up. She told me I was quite funny yesterday. Possibly as I couldn’t breathe when she had to pop and click something so I just made strange whimpering noises (blame the cold). But for the first time in a long time I’m having nice, normal, regular conversations.
I tell you, for £40 for a 45 minute appointment, I come out of it feeling like things are getting better. I CAN be sociable. I might not have friends who have social lives (or at least, friends who include me in their social lives) but I can still exist. You kind of forget how it is when you become a parent and the little ball with legs and a screamy head takes over your life for a bit. She’s still my number one topic of conversation, but you know what? I’ll chat with my Osteo about ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’ and have a laugh. I’ll chat with another school mum on the train about life and how it’s going. I will chat to whoever is in the queue next to me about whatever crops up in this random head of mine.
Even better, I can chat with my little lady about all kinds of things. Our conversations are changing – she’s asking more about the world. We talked a lot about my dad, and I explained my conflict about things being tested on animals – that I think cosmetics being tested is bad, but things like Cancer Research are okay, because they lead to better changes. Giving her the information so she can make her own mind up. She’s already been looking at bottles in the bath to see if they say that. I had to explain what little time we had with my dad once he was diagnosed, but that my mum has had it three times and they were able to operate, and that maybe by the time she’s older most cancers will be operable, curable.
I guess I maybe just need to work on how I speak to other kids, be a bit less of an embarrassing parent (to H). Just a teeny bit, mind.