Sometimes when I'm talking to someone, I have those moments where it is as if I can see a few steps ahead. I can see where the conversation is headed and as much as I'd like to, sometimes I can't seem to stop some of the things that come out of my mouth.
Earlier this week while on my latest business trip, I was sitting in a conference room with a few co-workers waiting for a meeting to start. As we waited for other people to filter in, we made some small talk. A couple of the folks in the meeting were new to our company. This was the first time I met them face to face so the small talk centered around what I consider to be "getting to know you" topics such as:
"Where do you live?"
"What hotel are you staying in?"
"When do you go back?"
The conversation was going just fine until we started talking about kids. We did the usual exchange- you know, I have two kids; a son and a daughter. They are 4 and 6. blah blah blah. One of the guys started talking about his kids and we agreed that the ages that our kids are at are fun ages.
This is when it started to go downhill. Essentially, this is what I happened:
Me: "Oh yeah. The ages my kids are at now are GREAT. They are so much fun at this age."
Guy #1: "Every age has good things about it, I think."
Me: "I agree. Good things and bad. Like when my kids were really young, it was great before they could move around and put things in their mouths. They would be right where you left them when you came back."
Guy #2: "Yeah, I don't miss those sleepless nights when they were really young."
Me: "Me neither! I handle a lot of situations well but sleep deprivation is not one of them. I just feel like now that both my kids are older than 4, we are kind of over the hump and I just enjoy them so much more now."
Guy #3 (half joking): "So you didn't enjoy your kids before?"
It was at this point where I knew what this guy wanted to hear but you know what? After fighting my way through some post partum "issues" with both kids, I feel it is my duty on some level to tell it how it is (even if it is in a room with 3 guys and I can SEE it on their faces that they are thinking "Gee I hope my wife doesn't feel that way about our kids.")
So I ended up having verbal diarrhea of the mouth that sounded like this- "Well, I've always loved my kids. Don't get me wrong. But they just aren't that engaging when they are really young. I felt like I was just punching the clock with them. You know, give them a bath, change them, burp them etc. There wasn't a lot of interaction and you don't get much back from them emotionally very early on. Well, at least I didn't. And the lack of sleep. Oy, don't get me started on that. So anyway, I always loved my kids. But yeah, I guess I would have to say it wasn't until they were about 3 or so that I really started to like them and really enjoy spending time with them. Because like I was saying, when they were babies there isn't much to actually do with them. I'm not what you would consider to be an "artsy-craftsy" kind of girl and there's only so much TV you can watch. You know what I mean? I can tell you don't know what I mean. Guy #3, I see the way you are looking at me. I can tell you are probably thinking I am the worst mother on the planet (insert my uncomfortable giggle here). But I'll tell you what. I'm just saying out loud what a good chunk of mothers out there are thinking in their heads. And that's the truth. Boy this meeting is getting started a bit late, huh? Should we go ahead and get started?"
So, anyhoo- If you are ever looking to make a group of men feel uncomfortable, just memorize my paragraph from above. I can tell you from experience it works like a charm.