Who To Talk To (For The Socially Starved Parent)

Ah, parenthood, particularly stay at home parenthood or maternity leave: You get to baby gaze all day, listen to nonsense from the toddler, watch them discover new things and tick off their milestones...
..Once that novelty has worn off a bit - after the colic, the mountain of housework which quite inconsiderately needs to still be done, the mundaneness of daily life with a baby creeps in.
And the social isolation.

Rinse and repeat this theory but with a toddler. Same shit, different child. Add monstrous paddies.

Yeah, you got some mum buddies, you can speak to your sister on the phone and a bit of twitter keeps you going. You also have that weekly delivery driver from Sainsbury's and hold onto his signing pad thingie just  tad too long with a look in your eyes that says "please don't leave me with these pre-verbal socially inept children" for some normal adult socialisation. The last one may just be me.
Bottle for one again?
Yes, I am Doctomum and I am inappropriately desperate for social contact with real adults.

I'm craving a chit-chat. The husband has been at work (lucky sod) constantly for the past couple of weeks, compounded by the only thing that has reached my ears in that time are the cries of a teething baby.

I don't want to discuss with my firstborn where Elsa's parents have gone on that blinking ship again. I don't want to do the whole snippet conversation over attention screaming children at mother and baby group. Heck I don't want to go to mother and baby group anyway (a place where you get to feel bad about what your baby isn't doing and there isn't even the benefit of a good biscuit to comfort eat your sorrows away). I just want some inane drivel talk, to offload about my day and to have some adult interaction. I haven't spoken to someone for three days now! Unfortunately this has made me a little, er, desperate shall we say.

Here are my top chat* buddies** who make me feel normal*** in the desperate parents guide to social interaction:

*When I say normal chat, I mean just talk about my kids  as I have little exposure to anything else.
**When I say buddie, I mean I'm waving to them as they run away.
***When I say normal, I mean relatively.

The Postman

He gives me parcels, I give him the low down on my thrilling day. He's started to deliver my post to next door, even though they fit through the letter box and I'm actually in. 
#SorryYouWereOutNotSorry, I'm sure he would be tweeting, if only I could find him on social media.

The Royal Mail Depot Guy:

My heart sinks when I get the 'Sorry you were out card', I will have to go with two whingepots to the depot.

I'm sad until I see my Royal Mail depot guy. He's genuinely interested in the kids, we have a chat about the local area and he lets Firstborn sign the signy pad thingie, which is probably illegal or summit'.

Unlike most people I started to miss the trip to the depot when the postman started to deliver my post to the neighbour if 'I wasn't in' (but actually was in). Especially, when my husband went there for a parcel RM depot guy enquired where I had been and asked how the kids were.

See Mr Postman, some royal mail employees aren't totally freaked out by my social desperation. Some are equally as socially desperate as me.

The Dentist:

My dentist is like the Dr Ranj of Dentistry.
Image mercilessly stolen from Dr Ranj for the Phwoar factor. Credit to www.DrRanj.com
He's groomed, hot, dentistry perfection but unfortunately for those of us who possess the XX chromosomes, he's not the slightest bit interested in ladies (particularly not desperate ones). He breathes a sigh of relief when he asks me to "Open wide" as he no longer has to hear about the dilemma of Firstborn unreasonably wanting uncooked bacon for breakfast and how no exasperated warnings of botulism would penetrate his toddler mind.
He has mastered the concept of smiling and nodding, whilst opening the door and handing me my coat to leave to get me out quickly as I waffle on. Mastered it so much, that I feel like he's really listened whilst I've marvel at this dental god's brightly shining white teeth and I am happy to hand over my debit card for yet another pregnancy induced filling.

The Bus Driver:

That overly friendly expression sums up the desperation
I rarely use the bus, as there is nothing like two screaming children in a confined yet moving space with no escape. But on the odd occasion that the car is out of action, I like to linger at the bus drivers kiosk.
Casually, I lean against his driving pod tutting at how that cyclist just ran the lights and exclaiming "Oooh looker at 'er, just coming out of nowhere with her buggy, didn't even look did she?!
" This is your stop love" he replies. 
Alight here to find another chat victim.

People Who Sit Next To Me On Public Transport:

On the rare occasion I'm out without the kids on the train, I welcome some train chat. 
Normal folk put their bag down next to them on the train whilst sitting in the outside seat, fudge about on their phone and commence hostile stare. I, however, hide my bag under my seat, scoot up to the window knees together and commence puppy dog please sit with me look, visually patting the seat with my eyes, beckoning them (freaking the out).
The last time I did this, a nice old lady sat next to me. Great I thought, a captive audience. She probably has grankids so we already have common ground. Unlucky for her (and me), I had eaten a dodgy kebab the night before.
As I opened my mouth to talk to her I let out an almighty burp and then had to hang my head between my legs from the nausea that followed. She looked disgusted at the apparent drunk sat next to her the train, swaying and turning green. 
"Is this your station?" she said nervously, as I shuffled in my seat now getting stomach cramps.
"Yes it is" I said, stifling some vomit in my mouth. I squeezed past her to get off at (not my stop) Gatwick for a quick vomit in the bin as the passengers gawped on.
I suppose the lesson here is not to eat a dirty takeout the night before you ride the train... or try to talk to a stranger.
It's so dirty

Tube Ticket Operators:

Not being a Londoner, and not knowing the rules you city folk have about that overcrowded underground place where you hide your trains or being able to competently read the tube map, I probably piss off 99% of you with chatting to the guy in the ticket operator office.
The other 1% are the elite that do not travel by mass transport, darling.
Anyway, that's why we have automated ticket machines for those who don't like to stop and chat (or dislike being stuck behind someone desperate for a chat in the queue).

The Trendy Folk:

Yes you lot, outside Topshop, Hiya! *Waves over-enthusiastically*
Here, I can crack out the 'when I was young...", "...I wore that the first time around" and "of course it was never like that in my day..."

Flashback 10 years ago and I too was trendy. Now I just lust after your great fashion sense and free spirit, hoping if I stand near you, that crop top will rub off on me (except it probably won't look the same with my jigglypuff tummy).
You however are trying to chat to your trendy mates and my overuse of the work trendy is making you feel decidedly untrendy. Just usher me back into M&S where I belong now with the sensible fashions and generous sizing.

The Milkman: 


They would be prime chat fodder, if they still existed. Plus I'm always up by 6am with my early risers and need something to pass the time #BringBackMilkmenForDesperateHousewives

The Barman:

I should be so lucky to actually go out and talk to a real life barman. If I could do that, I wouldn't be chatting to the this bunch of misfits (love you guys).

The Taxi Driver:

I am more than glad to tell you the directions to my own house and pay for the privilege, if it means someone to play verbal tennis with.

The Telesales Rep: 

I play you at your own game. I have no interest (or money) to pay for whatever you are touting but we can have a great speaker phone chat over bath time. I can pass the bath time boredom and you can dream about a commission.

Dave Benson-Philips:

Good old gunge tank Dave was once doing a charity event nearby and showcasing his lesser known musical skills (he also runs a removals and bouncy castle hire firm if you're interested). Being a uber fan, desperate to meet my childhood idol and for the chance of a celebrity mate, I took first born and made the mistake of missing naptime.
We dutyfulling watched Dave perform, then lept on him for a photo after.
"Please can I have a picture with you and my son. He loves your nursery rhyme DVD" I said as I thrust Firstborn towards him.
Dave looked hesitant and also disappointed that I had only accosted him for his DVD escapades. Firstborn performed the screaming, flailing octopus maneuverer to wriggle free from this apparent stranger (a stranger who had watched at least daily for 6 months on that ruddy DVD).
Dave gritted his teeth, as only a put upon celeb can do, until I realised I could just do a selfie holding my own child next to Dave. Now's my chance, I thought, I'll start up some witty chat...

Dave dealt splendidly with the terrified tot & desperate mother

...But then the child who hasn't napped is kicking off at the cake stall round the corner and Dave took the opportunity to scarper. Sigh.

The Plumber:

I get him round on the one leaky tap we have in the bathroom (which is true).

But once he's in I lure him further into my social isolation lair with promises of more taps to fix around the house. "How about this one" I said to him for the third time "This one doesn't flow as fast as I'd like...oh, you say that's normal, well there's also this funny smell I want you to check out."

Note: If you have to resort to showing the plumber your funny smells, you've gone too far. (Note also that definitely says funny smells and NOT fanny smells, for those of you that have a dirty proof reading mind like my husband).

The Husband:

Nothing, I mean nothing pleases my husband more to hear about my day.

Said my husband never.

As soon as his key hits the front door, with a voice like diarrhoea, my shit day splutters all over him. I would regale it to you, but honestly, I bore myself just thinking about writing it and plus you're already heaving at the diarrhoea visual I just gave you.
Basically I tell him lots of dull, you had to be there type stories for around 1 hour.

The Toot Toot Cars Or Any Battery-run Shit That Talks: 

 "Hello puppies calling you, he wants to play with you"* one sings. Well great puppy, come on in, I haven't spoken to anyone outside of  "Don't you dare throw the hide 'n' squeak eggs at the brother" and "Those are the cat's Dreamies not yours" to a toddler in days.
*If you're racking your brain trying to think where you've heard that song, its from the Vtech baby walker, catchy ain't it?

The Carpet Fitters:  

"Would you like a cup of tea or coffee? Squash...a yoggie? You must be tired, sit down, that carpet can wait, lets talk." But no, they had work to do.

Looking on at the doorway was Firstborn, following by his mother's example exclaiming "what you doing man?" "you fixing the carpet man?" all said in perfect harmony to his trousers falling down. Of course at this moment I did what any mother would do and took a quick snapshot to save for the future girlfriends. Then apologised for my flasher/interrogator son.

FYI, if you want to buddy up with the carpet fitters, make sure you wear a belt.

The Gumtree/Ebay Community:

I had a fascinating chat with a lovely man who bought my old kitchen bin. Turns out he used to live up the road but has since moved to Bristol. We know some of the same people and we gossiped about the state of the village fishwife style. Seems like he also hasn't spoken to a real human in a while either.
Finally social desperation success, and the Brabantia found a new husband.

The Playdates:

Not the parents, but the kids. Never has there been an easier target than to befriend than a toddler with the promise of squash.
Now lets talk about Bing little toddler guy, why does Pando always fling his trousers off at every opportunity? Who is flop, I mean who is he in relation to Bing - his Dad, His carer, his rehabilitation officer?
I mean, Who IS he? Credit: BBC

The Chuggers:

I draw the line at chuggers. These are the LAST people I want to see at the witching hour on my doorstep or accosting me dragging two children round the shops. No chats for you.

But you may be a braver soul than me and maybe more desperate (unlikely) so have a bash at befriending these poor buggers.


Maybe this is a glimpse into my aged future where I become (or already am) that old lady who will keep anyone captive, talking at them for hours, with her army of cats.

Luckily second time around motherhood, at least brings one toddler to bounce ideas off (swear at under my breath and try to convince to eat something other than yoggie).
Do you find yourself making a beeline for poorly thought out social contact? If so (or if you just want to laugh at mine) post below and share with other similarly socially inept parents.

I have buttons to the side and below that share the chit-chat.

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  1. What is a chugger? I too am socially inept. Pretty sure it's in my genes. I found an old lady in a cafe to talk to today whilst trying to stop J throwing his overpriced food on the floor, but then she started telling me how her husband died and it got awkward. Also have found GP waiting rooms great for a captive audience!

    1. Chugger is a charity mugger (those guys with the clipboard in the street that make a beeline for you when you are struggling with a child to steal your bank details).
      Ooh GP waiting rooms, hasn't thought of those...just don't want to hear about where someone's rash is, that's all...

  2. Love this and I absolutely agree! I am always trying to clock eye contact with random unsuspecting strangers... anyone who will listen, or at least make it look like i'm not talking to myself!
    found you on #wineandboobs

    1. Haha, the sign you are a parent - talking to yourself, as let's face it none of your children are listening to you! Little buggers!
      Yay to finding me on #wineandboobs, the best named linky around!

  3. This was so funny to read, great post. Think I'm the opposite though, if I get any second to myself I just want to sit in silence lol #thelist

    1. Yep, silence has its benefits too, particularly when there's a good book to read or a gossip mag to thumb through.

  4. I too love a good chat with anyone who will stop to talk to me (and I am not even stuck at home with preverbal infants!). After a week of exam marking alone at home in front of the computer last summer, I was desperate for conversation, so when the very sweet Jehovah's Witness rang the doorbell I was very excited. In the end he made his excuse and left my doorstep after 30minutes of animated discussion. He hasn't been back. And I thought we had a great chat......:-/

    1. Haha, I almost thought of putting Jehovah witnesses in, but we haven't had any call yet (must know my previous crimes of accosting the general public for a chit chat). That's a great way to make sure they don't call again though!

  5. My fave is the oven man. I bought a really terrible oven and the best bit is that my husband took out extra cover so that when it breaks (often) I get 20 mins of conversation along with a repair for free! I liked the washing machine repair man too but we don't have cover on that any more - a shame, he was a real riot. xx

    1. Now there's a reason to take it extra insurance on appliances. These poor repair men, bet they never thought talking to bored mothers was in the job description.

  6. This was so funny I actually had to read it twice lol! I totally get what you are talking about in that post as I live it! feel sorry for the people I get talking to at times lol :) Thank you for linking on #wineandboobs

    1. Thanks for hosting still the best named linky in town! #wineandboobs

  7. Ha ha this is brilliant! So funny, you poor thing :) Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks for featuring me this week with this post! You're da best #thelist

  8. LOL such a funny post - but so TRUE! Stay at home parenting gets rough, it is isolation with only kids toys and cartoons and toddler babble to keep you company. It's hard to go without adult interaction all day. I'm sure Dr. Ranj will be delighted with his shout out! #TheList x

    1. Poor ol' Dr Ranj - he's got enough desperate mums clambering over his puppets to get to him!
      I found a new person to chat to today: 'the charity shop assistant' - they LOVE a good natter. Recommend them!