I like to talk. I work in radio - I spend most of my time advising someone else on what they should say or saying something myself. I come from a family of talkers. My grandma used to deliver such monumental monologues on the phone that my mum was able to put the phone down, carry out various 1970s-office-based-tasks, pick it back up ten minutes later and granny would barely have paused for breath. I once heard my brother keep up an argument over who was better: Eminem or Led Zeppelin, for the entirety of a thee hour traffic jam. However, since becoming a mother four months ago, the power of conversation - pathetically referred to as having 'chat' these days - seems to have deserted me.
I admit, my post-office, pre-birth conversation may not have been scintillating, but it's really weird just not having anything to say to your partner at the end of the day. And not just him. Friends come over for dinner, I'm ecstatic to see someone who isn't a baby and doesn't want to discuss their episiotomy stitches, but then....I realise I have nothing to tell them. Yeah, the baby is good thanks. No, I'm not getting much sleep. I tried out some new 12 hour nappies today though; problem is they mask the smell of the heavier duty nappy content and I accidentally left the baby in her own effluent for an hour. I actually found myself relating that 'story' to a perfectly innocent friend the other night. As the words left my mouth, I felt a deep sense of regret, and I'm sure she felt the same for accepting the dinner invite.
Another new mother I know told me that she now uses ITV's Loose Women as a conversational guide for the evening. I have taken to showing my husband a selection of baby photos taken during the day when he comes home, as my hilarious regaling of him with things like: 'she really laughs if you blow in her face' or: 'I found some Crunchy Nut Cornflake crumbs amongst the dry skin on her scalp' just didn't seem to be cutting it any more. I have however, developed a new reserve of Second World War related 'chat', due to BBC Two showing seminal 70s series The World at War every afternoon. Those close to me may wonder why Hitler keeps cropping up in conversation - well now you know. But what's a girl to do - start watching Jeremy Kyle? I haven't reached that point yet.....Not yet.
It's not that having a child isn't a magical thing, full of wonder and enchantment, it's just that your horizons drastically reduce. Your focus is so intense on this one, burgeoning life, there isn't really the brain space to notice the rest of the world. I'm going to work on my conversational failings though. I haven't managed to read anything other than Facebook and Heat Magazine since our daughter was born; surely some intellectually stimulating reading material is all I need to rediscover my inner Oscar Wilde? Until then though, did I tell you about the time she peed in her own eye while I was changing her nappy?