Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spare Me The Details

I was over at Time Goes By today, reading about childless-by-choice lifestyles.

I just survived a dinner party on the weekend where the guests and hosts went on and on and on about their grandchildren. Some of the stories I had heard two and three times before. These stories were replete with definite predictions about the future careers of the grandchildren - those children showing Picasso tendencies, or surgical skills or even self-chosen clothing styles way beyond their years. An added bonus were all the reasons why laid out for me like jewels on the tablecloth. Geniuses all.

One grandfather, a gifted actor and raconteur, had declined participation in the play I've written and directing as "the weekly rehearsals would prevent him spending time with the grandchildren on the off chance they became available" (they live 300KM away).

Even when my children were small, I never participated in the coffee klatsch thing among the mothers chattering endlessly about the benefits of certain babyfoods and diapers and prams and little Johnny's teething. My friends were all single or married with no children in sight by choice and we swapped books.

Don't get me wrong. I adore my children and my grandchildren and love spending time with them. But for me to drone endlessly on to others about their accomplishments (and they really do have them)is to drone on about stuff that has nothing to do with me per se. Apart from biologically and possibly the nurturing and hereditary factor kicking in.

Plus that grandparent bragging competition replete with photos which unattractively kicks in at some point in the evening can be totally offputting. Like Geezer Olympics.

My eyes glaze. They droop. I stifle yawns into a FAIL. I feel a snore coming on.

But bring up the book you're reading or the play you just saw or why Stephen Harper has to go or the course you're taking, and I'm all ears, baby.


  1. There's nothing more boring than parents yakking on about their children, particularly as I don't have children of my own. They may find their children's every movement fascinating but not many other people do.

  2. I tried to make a conscious effort not to continually talk about Elly. Mind you it was more difficult since I only had the one child.

  3. you had me with Stephen Harper has to go LOL

  4. I've been lucky to have friends that could talk about books, plays, craft projects, horses, dogs, cattle, etc...as well as their/our children. Had a luncheon date with a friend from the past recently and we happily shared stories & pictures of our kids & grandkids, as well as book choices, concerts and artwork.
    All good, as I try to be a well rounded Granny, and me.

  5. My grand kids are pretty much a pain in the ass, just like their parents, my kids. I love them but have very little stake in their futures. They will be what they will be with no real help from Grammy

  6. i remember when my dad was dying, one of his biggest worries was that my mother would spend her time after he was gone "chasing around after grandkids." he didn't mean babysitting; he meant what you are describing---having them become the center of her universe.

    ha! not my mother. she moved to the city, got season tickets to the symphony orchestra and a library card, and never looked back.

  7. Childless blogger here - no regrets whatsoever. I regret not having siblings, but never, never never regret not having brought children into this increasingly dangerous world.

    The husband has 6 grandkids and two great-grand-babies, I can only look on in awe. :-) (Luckily he's not one to brag.)

  8. I loved this post, and I am still smiling after reading it. I agree with Twain 12, Harper has to go.

  9. I'm uncomfortable with that kind of dinner table talk too and don't like to join in. I do have a very accomplished grandson, but don't feel like I have much to do with it. It's partly genetics and partly his mother's way of raising him. I'm just on the sidelines watching. I find him inappropriate conversation material and would rather talk politics.

  10. If that is your reaction, imagine mine when the same thing happens to me! I have one son and no grand children and all my friends have children, grand and great grand children! Some of them consider their dogs and cats as children too and talk about them.


Comments are welcome. Anonymous comments will be deleted unread.

Email me at wisewebwomanatgmaildotcom if you're having trouble.