People who know me well will tell you that you can't shut me up
or get a word in edgeways, upside down or inside out once I start talking.
This is true and yet as a rule I find it very hard to make ongoing, polite conversation with people that I don't know in social situations
(in part, I admit, because I just can't be pfaffed)
I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mum
but in those 6 or so hours while the 3 kids are at school,
I thrive on being a loner.
I love pottering by myself
and enjoy my own company probably more than is good for me.
I get to be in my own space,
(usually a bra-free and fluffy-slippered place)
accompanied by a never ending cup of coffee
and the ipod cranked up to play everything from show tunes to synthesizer music from the 1980s.
But if I do have to (God forbid) don a bra and actually leave the house,
watch out anyone who makes eye contact and hesitates in their stride.
It is like an uncontrolled craving for human interaction takes over me once I enter the real, functioning world.
It doesn't matter which complete stranger ends up being the deer to my headlights.
I am off and chatting before they have a chance to retreat.
Admittedly, some individuals do rise to the challenge of a two-sided conversation.
In others, however, I can see the physical change of eyes glazing over,
as the smiles and nods become an automatic reflex
and their brains daydream them to happier places.
I have had a lengthy discussion about boob jobs with a complete stranger behind the counter
at the local newsagent.
I have discussed the pros and cons of my post-natural-childbirth toiletting habits with a lady
at the local chemist.
(Luckily it was at the chemist.
The person serving at the bakery might not have been so soothing and sympathetic)
I have discussed the likelyhood of vomiting on my children
(yes, vomiting on my children) with other parents
in a waiting room.
Don't get me wrong.
It isn't all bodily fluids and ablutions.
I have chin-wagged with various victi.....er, individuals about global warming,
ever increasing supermarket monopolies,
Pokemon versus Skylanders,
men's sex drives, online shopping,
the crap printed in the gossip magazines,
the tastelessness of tomatoes...
I could go on.
(They might say that I do go on)
Sated, I come home,
get back into my comfy slippers,
at peace knowing that I can still hold a conversation with other real human-being-adult-thingies,
and resume playing "Defying Gravity" at high volume.
But what has really struck me this past year
is that my kids are growing up
and with that, the conversations are growing up too.
No more discussing if Bob the Builder's Lofty the crane is a boy crane or a girl crane.
No more talking about "tana" toast and "nana" bread.
We have finished the chats about why one should wee in the toilet rather than in one's undies.
While a small part of me is mourning the loss of my sweet babes,
a big part of me is running around with my shirt over my head
shouting booyah at the top of my voice.
In the past month, we have discussed racism and acceptance, Christianity and faith,
circumcision, home-branded products and supposed "Australian made",
where babies come from (as in physically- where they actually come out from)
umbilical cords and belly buttons,
the implications of losing your belief in the tooth fairy when you have a young sister
who hasn't even lost a tooth yet.
Even Hitler, albeit a very sanitised version, got a look in.
I get to talk lots.
And as a bonus, it is really interesting stuff.
But it is really interesting stuff laden with responsibility as a parent.
This is our chance to teach our kids the real facts
and to shape that moral compass that will make them better human-being-adult-thingies.
And I can do it all from the bra-free, slippered-feet comfort of my own home.
I can get my fix without having to bail up neighbours and strangers
in the supermarket aisle or in checkout queue.
Now I am just going to enjoy these conversations until I need to start talking to my youngest,
my daughter, about boys and "women's things" in general.
That is, I hope, more than few year's away yet.
Before then, my boys will want to talk about (or more likely not want to talk about) girls and "men's things"
but that is sooooooo Mr Boozle's job.
I'll be changing out of my slippers, putting my bra on and heading out the door and leaving them to it.