Why Mom Can’t Talk To Other Adults

It is virtually impossible for me to have a conversation with another adult if my kids are around. Like a moth to a flame, they are drawn in by this rarely-seen interaction that doesn’t involve or revolve around them.

I dread having to make phone calls if they’re in the immediate vicinity. It doesn’t matter if I give them their favorite snack and put on a favorite show and they’re 100% preoccupied with something else. As soon as I say “Hello, my name is Lynn…” they’ve never been hungrier, thirstier, or in more need of attention than they are now.

I’ve tried hitting the mute button on the phone, looking them dead in the face, and saying in a loud, clear voice “Mommy is on the phone. I need you to be quiet.”

This is met with a blank stare and zero comprehension of what I just said.  The only thing this served to do is provide them with the opportunity to take a deep breath and launch into their list of demands and questions. Oh and I’ve tried hiding. Do you have young children? One does not simply hide from their children. They’ve got the nose of a bloodhound and a gritty determination to seek you out. Like a horror movie, you know that closet door is about to open and expose you to the killer on the other side.

My favorite is when they both decide to stage a fight-to-the-death cage match. Usually this happens when I’m specifically on the phone with the pediatrician. I’m toggling back and forth between the mute button on the phone as I scream for them to be quiet to the point where I forget whether they’re muted or not and surely they hear me being an awful mother with a complete lack of control over her offspring. Finally I reach a desperate point and I am ready to promise them anything – a lollipop, fruit snacks, a unicorn that poops out cupcakes – so that I can complete the two-minute phone call.

“Hi, I’d like to make an appointment for Olivia’s next well – STOP HITTING YOUR BROTHER OR I’LL GIVE YOU A TIMEOUT!”

Olivia: “NO TIMEOUT!” *blows world’s biggest raspberry*

Me *shoots a death stare in my daughter’s direction while mouthing for her to stop before I take away all that is precious: “I’m so sorry…yes, I’m available on Wednesday mornings.”

Olivia switches gears from harassing her brother and begins profusely licking the dog like it’s a rapidly melting popsicle.

Me: “DON’T LICK THE DOG! THAT’S DISGUSTING! Sorry again. What were you saying? We need to find another pediatrician? Oh…”

Then there are the in-person conversations I try to have with other adults. Remember that MADTV sketch “Stuart” where he does something totally random while yelling “LOOK WHAT I CAN DO?” This is how my kids behave in the middle of a conversation I’m trying to have with our contractor about grout lines.

It’s not as if they’re doing adorable stuff like sweetly coming up and asking to shake the person’s hand and introduce themselves. Nay, that is too tame for these kids. Olivia has a habit of just jumping up and down or spinning like a whirling dervish while she shouts weird babble that sounds a lot like “DADOOODAAAAAADO IT DODIDIDODT” and is usually punctuated with the word ‘poop’. It’s charming really. We’ve single-handedly made sure that our contractor never wants to have children.

Last week we had a landscaper come by to see about leveling our yard for a swing set. I told the kids that I needed five minutes to have a very important conversation and they could stay on the deck and play while we were in the yard. Simple instructions to follow, yet why would they? They open the gate on the deck entrance and let the dog out. Our dog hates people. Like she would go for someone’s jugular but she’s just too small to reach it. I hear giggles and then see the gate open to watch the dog go tearing down the steps towards the landscaper. The kids run after her, cackling with glee and behaving like wild animals recently escaped from the zoo. I excuse myself as politely as I can from the conversation and tackle the dog before she can reach the landscaper. That is not an exaggeration. I literally had to drop to my knees and fall on top of the dog to prevent her from reaching him. Demurely, I brushed myself off and put the dog inside the house and hissed in a low guttural whisper to the kids, “You stop it. You stop it now or else I will throw your iPads in the garbage. THE GARBAGE!”

Then, ever so calmly as one can be after such calamity, I nonchalantly ask the landscaper whether he has children of his own. He shakes his head and looks as if he thinks they are a terrible idea while Olivia and AJR start up with Preschool Fight Club in the background. My children are going to cause the human race to become extinct at this rate.

Why does this happen? My children are most interested in me when I’m trying to talk to a person or use the bathroom. Please tell me I’m not alone here. Does anyone else’s kids get like this?

5 thoughts on “Why Mom Can’t Talk To Other Adults

  1. I believe the latest debacle was a week or two ago…not sooner because I’ve quarantined myself from civilization. I was calling Congress. Four-year-old son usually keeps it together so he can talk…not this occasion. At this moment he was a raging doucheface that he inherited from his father. I’d had a shitty day…or week…who can keep track? I went out and bought the largest size of my favorite iced tea beverage I could manage. I got home and managed a sip of it before the kids decided to make me regret procreating. Two-year-old daughter begged me to sit on the floor…more like bluntly ordered me. I obliged bringing the drink with me…rookie mistake. I wanted to get the calls done, and was looking for a way to make that happen…appeased two-year-old was a necessity…maybe she’d sit on my lap and wait until after I hung up before whining about getting a chance to talk? Clearly I’m delusional…I blame sleep deprivation… She follows in her brother’s lead of doucheydom, trying to grab my lengthy list of wishes and grievances as I’m trying to read them to a VERY patient aide who has to be freaked out by now because it’s not like there is no noise or threats in the background interrupting my commentary. I notice my vulnerable drink, but in slow motion two kicks it over. Whenever this happens, I lose very little of the drink…they have excellent lids. But, I’m sure you see where this trauma is going. The ENTIRE thing dumps out EVERYWHERE…carpet…under the sofa…basically anywhere that will be impossible to clean. I’m STILL on the phone and totally lose my shit. I can’t remember what four was doing, but it was probably inappropriate. I hurry through the last few items seething with desperation and rage. Heartbroken, I hang-up the phone as I’m cleaning. Two refused the normal time-out location, so I have to chase her around while tea is running all over the place and four is taunting her. Once nabbed, I whisk two to a time-out in her crib. I begin cleaning as best I can, but some of it can’t be. Four is making a verbal nuisance of himself by asking daft questions he already knows the answers to and walking through the ginormous puddle and tracking himself through the materials harder to clean.

    But, sure, I’ll be sure to love EVERY moment of this parenting thing…


  2. you are so not alone. my kids always seem to act crazy! when im on the phone . like turning up their tv to 50. or saying mom , i have to tell you something and its super important ! mind you … its normally my 5 year old telling me his 2 year old sister told him to shut up… kids are crazy. overwhelming…and yes they make you wanna rip your hair out..especially when your home with them non stop. but they are also very amazing. and heartwarming …when they want to be sweet. lol


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s