Confessions of a Single Mother: Lessons from My Little Social Bumblebee

 “Hello my name is Maia, whats your name?”

Maia is now four and a half, and becoming quite the little social bumblebee. (I know the term is social butterfly, but I don’t mean it in that sense.) No, I am referring to my little girl’s daily need to converse with everyone she crosses paths with, outside the home.
I am not exaggerating.
My pre-schooler, my baby-no-longer-a-baby-but-always-my-baby, my pride and joy (literally, very much literally), loves to make conversation, with pretty much anyone she can, any individual within talking distance, and sometimes even those not in talking distance.

It makes me very happy (and proud, ever so proud) to see her speak so confidently and without prompt from me. She loves just chattering away to whoever will listen. Plus, her joyful and bubbly introductions never fail to put a smile on the face of each and every person she chats to, so I tend to encourage it with a “that was lovely of you to say hello Maia…”. Most of the time, if we’re walking somewhere, I find myself ushering her away if I feel like she’s going to go on and on, being the adult sucks sometimes, but I just end up thinking “oh this person might have somewhere to be, he/she might not want to stand around talking to my little darling..” even though, she’s making them laugh and smile. Mostly I just beam down at her in pride “This is my Mummy!” and I give a little wave. Then I’ll tend to follow the gesture up with “Have  a good day!”. It’s like a little show. A Mummy-daughter-spread-some-joy show.

I’ll leave you with some examples.

At the train station, waiting patiently for our train:

Amongst other conversation, and me trying to keep her entertained…..
She mentioned she was hungry, I said she could have a sandwich, she wasn’t interested.
” I know Mummy we could just kill a dog, cook the dog and then eat the meat!”
*silence…serious looks..” “Maia….”
*Smile from the girl – clearly amused- sat reading opposite, I smile back…*
I mean how is one supposed to react when your little person comes out with such ideas?!

A minute later…

Standing bang in the centre of one of those little rooms on the platform where people sit – generally in silence- when it’s too cold to be outside…

With an abundance of heartfelt passion:
“Mummy, I am going to put on a show! And YOU are my audience…”
“Darling you already are putting on a show… and I already am your audience…along with everyone else...but do continue..”

This was then followed by hysterical giggling at just about everything that came out of my mouth. I was simply unbearably hilarious. It’s not easy to calm a giggler once he or she has begun. I resolved to just laugh along with her in hushed tones.

At the park:

To just about any dog walker, referring to dogs big, small, yappy, calm….
“Hello my name is Maia, I like your dog!”

Without actually seeing the baby but upon noticing a woman pushing a pram, shouting across the playground:
“Hello, I like your baby!”
“Well I like you too!”
The sweet Mummy replied.

On the walk to school:

“Hello my name is Maia, I can see that you’re fixing the pipes….”
*Smiles and good-mornings from the clearly amused pipe-fixing-work-men…

In the pub, during a family-lunch, to fellow diners:

“Hello! Is that chocolate I can see on your table?”
*Like mother like daughter, radar for such commodities..Sadly her radar was off and it turned out to be butter..
Fellow diner:  “No darling it’s butter, but if it were chocolate I’d have given it to you!”

A friend said the other day “Imagine if she were a 25 year old woman walking around talking to people in such a way..just “Hello my name is Maia, I like your_______. I see that you’re ________. Smiling at everyone she passed, all happy and joyful…How awesome would that be. Everyone would love her.”

Well, sadly, she is likely to grow out of the “Hello my name is Maia..”, but I do hope she never grows out of the “I like your dog” and such like. I hope she never grows out of the friendly introductions and comments, and the ease at which she creates these little connections with people. Even just the sixty second ones.

Every little moment is Maia being Maia, her absolute true and authentic self. 
I love the beautiful fact that, at four years old, she’s not self-conscious.
She doesn’t have a care in the world as to what those people might think of her.
She doesn’t act differently or change herself depending on who she’s talking to.
She can laugh as loudly as she wants on a train and to her, it’s the most obvious and natural thing to do.
Saying hello to a passer by, asking a question or two is clearly instinctive to her, regardless of whether they appear to want to converse or not, she’ll say hello anyway and make them smile.
And I love her for it.

She’s forever teaching me to give less fucks what people think, and simply be yourself.