I like kids - I really do. They’re so much fun to watch when they don’t know you’re paying attention. I get a thrill watching as they discover their toes or a bird outside the window or the triumph of completing a picture puzzle for the first time. Their interactions can be so entertaining. Kids are great.
But for goodness sakes, friends, coworkers, casual acquaintances, clueless relatives, would you please shut up about your kids! You didn’t invent procreation. You didn’t invent parenthood. You haven’t witnessed the absolute first word/smile/step of any baby anywhere. Your child is not the cutest, cuddliest, most adorable ever to grace the planet. Close, but not quite.
I’m glad you love your child. I’m glad the kid brings you joy and fulfillment. I hope you raise a fine, upstanding, responsible individual who will be sure to take care of you in your old age. However, I don’t need or want to hear every cute story, every doctor’s report, every milestone that apparently consume your thoughts. When I ask “How’s the kid(s)?” I’m truly not interested in the quantity and consistency of diaper contents, and I don’t need a step by step by step by step narration of the latest adorable thing said kid(s) entertained you with.
Back in the pre-baby days, I know you talked about things. Those things are still valid conversation fodder. Please, please, please dig back into your memory and try a few of those topics. I promise I’ll acknowledge Sally’s and Jimmy’s accomplishments and I’ll ask questions if I’m really interested. But if I don’t ask, please do not assume I’m too shy to inquire. Instead, mention the weather or something in the news or the raggedy front lawn on your block.
Yeah, I know I’ve probably told more than most of you want to know about my Perfect Child[sup]TM[/sup] but I really do try to be aware of how much I share, and I like to think that if I get obnoxious about it, someone would tell me or drop me an email to say so. I know even my mother doesn’t want to hear all the amazing things her eldest granddaughter has done, believe it or not.
I do like kids, really. But I like adult conversation, too. Would you please give it a try once in a while? Please? I promise to be considerate when my Perfect Grandchildren[sup]TM[/sup] are born.