That awkward moment when even a complete stranger shares with you more than you wanted to know.
That awkward moment when a friend, relative, colleague, acquaintance or even a complete stranger shares with you not just more than you needed to know, but more than you ever wanted to. You’ve been there, right?
Well, I have a hypothesis: I think that those with children have been there more often than most.
Something about someone becoming a parent flips a switch for other people, especially fellow parent types. Long-suppressed stories come out of the woodwork; friends recount things in a level of detail that you’ve hitherto been spared. You didn’t know what you were missing - and not in a good way.
You know the sort of thing - a tale about the abrupt conclusion to Susie and Dave’s day out with little Poppy at the theme park that previously ended with a knowing smile now comes with a full on description of the scent, colour, and consistency of Poppy’s vomit as it wound its way into the hair of the unfortunate lady in front of her on the rapids. And you’ve been promised a look at the accompanying photos.
It’s like the fact that you’re both bringing up another human being opens up a whole new channel (and level) of communication. The delight that appeared on friends’ faces when they heard you were expecting wasn’t just about the prospect of playdates. In that moment ,you became fair game, an unwitting confidante and easy prey.
Like all good hypotheses, this one is, of course, propped up by rafts of (admittedly anecdotal) evidence. It’s not just folks like Susie and Dave, it’s people like Paul - our very real friend who sent us a very real picture of his son’s fairly horrific first poo, just weeks before we were to be facing something similar ourselves.
Preparing us for what was to come? Maybe. Over-sharing? Definitely.