Along with her brother, my partner, and Game of Thrones, my 2 1/2 year old daughter is the greatest thing that has ever come into my life. Her name, which was picked out years before she was even a glimmer in my eye, means "joy," and I couldn't have hand-selected a more perfect word to encapsulate her essence. She exudes happiness and light. She glows. Yet she has ruined me, maybe irreparably, and I'm not talking about the fact that she was born vaginally at 9 pounds 2 ounces. My toddler ruined my ability to have an adult conversation.
Toddlers require pretty much all of a parent's brain space basically all the time. I find that as a work-from-home parent, the fact that she requires so much of my mental and physical energy in addition to the constant proximity means, in spite of significant and noble efforts, I get sucked into her world in ways that I never planned and that aren't exactly convenient when I have to transition back to the adult world. I feel like it must be how Harry Potter feels going from the Wizarding world to the Muggle world every summer break — it's an adjustment to say the least, and a lot of the time in the adult world I come across as looking like an eccentric weirdo.
It goes without saying that I love my daughter, but she has ruined my chances at carrying on an adult conversation with ease. I have a feeling most parents with toddlers can relate, so at least I have a sense of solidarity going for me. Right?