I’ve mentioned many times in the past that most of my friends have kids and have for several years already. Fortunately, I’ve spent many years working with kids and am hoping to have some of my own eventually, so I’m very accustomed to all that goes with kiddies. That includes the trait that parents immediately acquire, upon the birth of their children, which ensures they are always talking about their little ones. The conversations could be about the cutest thing the kids just did, something hysterical they said, or some story that involves bodily functions. For those of us who don’t have kids of our own yet this can sometimes be a bit overwhelming when we spend long lengths of time with others who are parents. I have managed to not be bothered by it, but I do know many others who slide into a kid story comma after a while.
All of this recently took a change when I heard the best self-instituted parental rule ever. Last week I was enlightened about the three-story rule a parent had self imposed. He explained that when he is talking to another parent he will continue to share antidotes often, but when he is talking to someone who doesn’t have children he allows himself three bullet points about his kids and then moves on. He said he’s noticed that after three stories, those without kids tend to get a glazed over look on their face. Therefore, he has listed three stories to be his general rule of thumb and after that he cuts himself off and talks about other topics.
This might be the best self-imposed rule I’ve ever heard of. I adore children, but after two hours of stories about the little munchkins it is hard not to tune someone out when you can’t relate to them in any way. Three stores is just enough to get a small glimpse of what is going on in a friend’s life with their kids, but not so much that they lose me in a land of tinker toys and finger paint. For those of you with children, do you find those of us hard to relate to when we don’t have antidotes about kids of our own to share? I often wonder if it is just as hard for you as it is for us sometimes.