Friday, 4 December 2009

The Art of Interruption

Gertie's power of interruption is a wonder to behold. It is an art, in fact.

In a social situation I might struggle to get the right word in to start my amusing anecdote, just getting the timing slightly awry as someone else launches into their own and the moment is lost.

But Gertie's timing is slick and professional and designed to caused maximum disruption to any conversation I might be trying (in vain) to have. It is a skill that, if correctly taught to politicians, could disrupt parliamentary debate. Stand-up comedians could learn from her ability to command the stage (even if that is only my living room).

I understand that in her world she is queen, centre, master and commander of her universe, and my pointless ramblings with a fellow mum, relative or work colleague pale into insignificance beside whatever momentous statement she is about to forcefully decree, but where does she learn the necessary timing to halt my most intense discussions? And it is not just the timing, but the content and the delivery.

Yesterday, I was with another Mum on maternity leave from my workplace. We were comparing notes about our respective return to work (hurtling towards me with a speed that I don't want to contemplate). Naturally the talk became politicised in relation to rights and benefits and just as I climbed atop my metaphorical soap-box I was pushed back down with the un-ignorable announcement that Gertie needed a 'grabby' poo.

I know. I needed to find out too. Stopped, mid-rant. A 'grabby' poo is in fact one which grabs the bottom as it passes, requiring a wet wipe rather than toilet paper. How she knew this to be the case before she had produced it I don't know. But the resultant potty-offering was certainly quite...grabby.

Other show-stoppers are often equally scatological: Last week's, "Mum, there's poo on my foot," couldn't fail to get a reaction.

But equally potent is anything beginning, "I just..." because that little word, 'just'- which should correspond to 'barely' 'merely' or 'only' - seldom means that and usually has more far-reaching implications, as I'm sure Gertie well knows.

For example, "I just bit him," or, "I just gave him a biscuit." (At four months Gilby is not even close to weaning...)

So I will learn the art of social interraction from my two-year-old and perhaps take a leaf from her book at my next dinner party...


  1. This cracked me up, K saw me laughing and had a chuckle too. K is at the age where every poo is a grabby poo :(

  2. Very funny sounds like she'll go far in life, although i'm not sure the same can be said for poor Gilby if she continues to ply him with biscuits before he cuts his teeth :)

  3. Reminds me of the many times I found myself talking about poo in public following the birth of my first child. I swore I would never be one of THOSE mothers but, of course, I was!

  4. It's all about timing, isn't it... That, and doing grabby-poos of course!

  5. Very funny. You ask them not to interupt when you're talking but they manage to come out with these showstoppers to get your attention don't they? The 'I just' thing happens in our house too, today my older one 'just hit' his younger brother with a wooden train station.

  6. Yes..Gertie adds on 'a little bit' to the end of her 'I just' sentences to soften them even further. 'I just bit him...a little bit.'