Hubs and I were out the other night at one of our favorite bars when I made a pit stop in the restroom.
“Eww,” I said aloud as I walked in the door. From the smell of things, someone had had some serious business to attend to in there not long before my arrival. I took a deep breath, held it as long as I could, and went in one of the stalls. When I was done, I went out and exhaled, then washed my hands in the sink and pressed the lever on the soap dispenser. Nothing came out.
“What the heck?” I muttered. “This is gross.” I looked up at myself in the mirror. “Oh no,” I said. I looked like one not-so-hot mess. I rooted in my purse for some lipstick and that’s when I heard a throat clear in one of the other stalls. I paused as it occurred to me that I had been talking out loud the whole time. Quickly, I left the restroom.
When Hubs and I sat down in the bar, I told him the story. He laughed and shook his head, clearly wondering whether I was losing my mind.
“Stop it Hubs,” I protested. “I’m not one of those people, I swear. There’s a perfectly good explanation.”
“Oh yeah?” said Hubs. “What’s that?”
“Well, I’ve been home with the kids now for four years,” I said. “And so I talk to myself in front of them. A lot. It’s how I taught Punky to talk. I say what I’m doing and she ends up, you know, learning the English language. And now I’m doing the same thing with Bruiser. And after four years of that, well, I guess old habits die hard.”
Disturbingly, though, I’m realizing that I talk in public now more often than I’d like. At the grocery, I compare the prices of canned tomatoes. Aloud. When I’m driving, I discuss the merits and drawbacks of other drivers, also out loud (although I’m fairly careful to say, “Stupid bi… scuit eater!” instead of something more dastardly, since I generally have my kids in the backseat). I also find myself talking in the shower, at the makeup mirror, and in front of my pathetic excuse for a wardrobe.
It’s got to stop. I don’t want to end up being that wild-haired old woman walking down the sidewalk and ranting about her social security check to no one in particular. Bruiser may end up language deficient as a result of my vow of silence, but I’ll be damned if I end up the town laughingstock just so he can say “iconoclastic” before he turns five.
This post originally appeared on Parents.com.