Making Conversation

A month ago, I met another young mother and her baby, just two months older than mine. We were the first to arrive at a social event and thus were expected to socialize. I attempted some small talk. When I ran out of questions about her lifestyle, family situation and baby’s age, the conversation faltered. We sat in silence watching as her baby performed a few tricks that my child had not yet learned. In desperation, I said one of the cliches that everyone keeps in their back pocket to relieve awkward moments. “It’s amazing how quickly babies change.”

She agreed.

Immediately I was sorry that I resorted to an truism, and I began wondering if it were even true.

Unfortunately, I did my wondering aloud. “Do babies actually change quickly?” I asked. “Maybe they don’t. Certainly, they seem to change rapidly to us, but if you consider their age in proportion to ours, it could be considered normal. When my son was 2 months old, he was still learning to smile and wiggle. At 4 months, he was squealing, playing and grasping toys.  To us, 2 months of time is very short, but to him, in those 2 months he doubled his age.”

The other woman stared at me. She smiled a little and looked at me as if I had just claimed to eat raw liver three times a day.

I tried to explain myself farther. “When he doubles his age again to 8 months, I hope he will be crawling and babbling. These are huge developmental changes, but I also had a large developmental change from 13 to 26, which would be double my original age.”

“Yes, there is a big difference between 13 and 26,” she conceded, but said nothing more.

Hoping that I made some sense to her, I continued. “When I double my age again, to 52, I’m sure I will change even more.”

She was silent. “So, maybe babies don’t change as quickly as they seem.”

Again, uncomfortable silence, mercifully broken by the arrival of a another guest.


About beewhisper

Christian, Mama, Wife, Gardener, Beekeeper
This entry was posted in Bee babies. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Making Conversation

  1. Rita says:

    Every group of mothers needs someone like you. : ) I completely feel the awkwardness you must have felt. Your original thought is interesting to think about–I understand your point. Yet, since we are the ones doing the observing, they do seem to change awfully quick. I remember with the twins and their little brother always wishing I had documented more of the “milestones” since they grew out of them so quickly.

  2. Gia says:

    Way to challenge the generally accepted rationale!

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