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My Child Overshares With Strangers... Does Yours?!

I find this remarkable. I can go into a bakery, choose something, pay for it and leave without uttering a word. In fact I could go all day without talking given the opportunity. But not Anna. She had introduced herself to the lady behind the counter.

Whilst on holiday this year Carolyn took Anna into a bakery. Within two minutes the woman behind the counter turned to Carolyn and said "You should write about her you know". "Funnily enough..." Carolyn replied. Why did she think this? Well in those two minutes Anna had shared a little information with the lady. In fact she had overshared. I find this remarkable. I can go into a bakery, choose something, pay for it and leave without uttering a word. In fact I could go all day without talking given the opportunity. But not Anna. She had introduced herself to the lady behind the counter. She had explained that she was on holiday and who she was on holiday with (this was a list of eight people). She had explained that she had been staying in a house in Scotland but we were on our way home and were staying in a hotel that night. She had explained that she was about to eat a sausage roll but that her friend Tess couldn't eat sausage rolls. Because she was a baby and she drank milk from her mummy's boobies. What had the woman asked as her opening greeting to Carolyn and Anna as they arrived?! What sort of question would inspire an answer that included a discussion about breastfeeding? And Anna wasn't finished. She then proceeded to explain to the lady that she did ballet and gymnastics and that her sister only did ballet because she was too little for gymnastics. And then she gave a gymnastics demonstration. Two minutes and she had managed to give her life story, talk about boobs and put on a show. The woman had apparently said nothing throughout this.

Anna is prone to this oversharing. I don't think she has any control over it. She seems to have no control over what comes out of her mouth. In fact she was once sat in the bath with Iris. She went quiet for a minute before looking at me and saying "I just did a wee in the bath." Her face then dropped like she was genuinely shocked by the words coming out of her mouth. "I didn't want to tell you that. I tried not to but my body just told you anyway!"

I recently took Anna to the swimming pool. On the way to the pool is a little bridge over a river. It's a small bridge that makes your tummy feel funny if you go over it quickly. So when it is quiet I make sure we go over the bridge fast enough for it to be fun. The girls seem to enjoy it. What I wasn't expecting that day was that as we walked into the reception area at the pool Anna announced to the woman behind the counter that "We went over the bridge and it made my bits all tickley. And I liked it!"

Whilst at a farm a few months ago we were happily strolling around when we stopped to look at some ducklings. A guy who worked there came over and said to Anna "Look in that water tray. The little ducklings have done their poos in there!" Anna just gave a nod and looked over to her sister "This is my sister Iris. She does poos in the bath too." At just one at the time, Iris didn't seem to mind this information being shared. She simply smiled and laughed. But it won't be long before Anna drives her mad and embarrasses her wherever she goes.

However my favourite episode of oversharing was whilst we were in a hotel in York this summer. The hotel had a swimming pool so we took the girls down there in the evening before putting them to bed. So this evening we decided that there was no point getting them properly dressed after swimming. They were going to go straight in the bath upstairs anyway and it was just up one floor in the lift. We whipped off the girls costumes and simply put their dresses back on. I left Carolyn behind to continue swimming whilst I took the girls up. We strolled out of the pool and round to the lifts. Anna ran ahead and held the lift for us. There were two people in the lift already. Not a big deal, we were going to be in this lift for no more than 10 seconds. The doors shut and Anna looks up at the two nice women we were sharing the lift with. "I'm Anna. This is Iris. We have been swimming and we are about to have a bath. I am only wearing a dress. I don't even have my knickers on. Nor does Iris, she only wearing her dress too." At this point I manage to stop Iris lifting up her dress to demonstrate that Anna is telling the truth. But Anna wasn't finished talking yet. "We got changed very quickly. There was no time for knickers... Daddy - did you have time for pants?" "Yes, I did thank you Anna." The two woman made appropriate noises and smiled politely. They didn't have time to get a word in anyway, which was lucky really because what do you say to a four year old in a lift who just announced that she isn't wearing knickers? The doors of the lift opened and we stepped out. I thought we had got away lightly. It could have been much worse if Anna had only noticed what I had noticed about the two nice women in the lift. I turned to walk towards our room but Anna continued staring into the open lift. "Daddy - they aren't really girls are they? They are men in dresses." I'm not sure how long the lift door stayed open for after that. I think it was about a week.

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