Say it again, sister
October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
I am completely unable to tolerate things that I find intolerable. I have a difficult time subscribing to, “to each his own”, and secretly there are many arenas where I believe that I should be in charge. Not so secret anymore. This is usually something that keeps me “stepping in it”. Constantly. I’m about to do it again. Ooops.
As I have matured I have not changed much in this respect. Actually not even a lil’ bit, but I have become the teensiest bit better about tempering my reactions to the crazy aggravating things happening around me. There is probably at least an average of three things a day that give me a physical reaction, and I am not talking about the kids tickling my heart or wearing me down (and giving me this flu – yes, I have a puke bug right now. I am talking about particular things, like people (usually strangers) and maybe architecture (both amazing and horrendous). And people and architecture just scratch the surface, but let’s leave it at that for now.
I am also somewhat specific in the way that I talk to my kids. I did not realize this until recently, but people have commented on it more and more. It may stem from my background as a teacher. The years I spent in special Ed? My (favorite) time rallying 4th graders? Or dabbling in school administration? Maybe it’s just my hard a** way? Or my pain in the a** way, but I tend to talk to my kids like, well, adults. Maybe not adults, but not like kids. And definitely not like babies. I can “baby talk” like the best of them. And we make up words and all the time, but not when I’m really talking to them. Maybe in the car stuck in traffic? Or on the bike just trying to kill time as we attempt to pass knuckleheads on the strand? Or during the endless hours of the afternoons at home when I am just trying to make it past the witching hour. I sing. I make s*#t up. I babble. I improvise a lisp. I can sound like a jolly cartoon character. But that is all play. When I’m engaged with my kids about anything of any real consequence, at those moments, which are basically the rest of the time, I am direct. I am concise. And when need be, I am stern. That’s just another way I love my kids. It’s not entirely intentional. It’s just what I do. And I keep on keeping on with it, ‘cause for me, it works.
This does not mean that they always listen. But it does mean that I know they always hear me. And I know this because I hear “me” echoing in their babble every day, usually at least a coupl’a times a day. Today I heard Zel tell Kirky, “I have told you two times already. Do I need to say it again?”
You better believe Kirky hopped right to it.
On Monday (before I puked in the Sears parking lot) I was at our local park with the kiddos for our usual pre-lunch romp, and I stumbled on the most annoying and stomach churning of conversations between a parent and a child. It was not entirely unique. But it was extreme. Extreme enough that I actually had to leave the park. I just could not handle it (meaning I could not wear my game face nor keep my trap shut for one more minute). This mother, with a baby strapped to her in an Ergo, was trying to mediate a “situation” with her two other kids. I happened to be right there. I think it was maybe what caused my later upchuck. She started in with “Friends, I observed you from this vantage point and saw something that made me uncomfortable.” These kids were 5, tops! She continued with, “Friend, when you spoke to ‘Sally’ that way, how do you think it made her feel? Inside?” And then she gave no time to respond before continuing with, “It made her feel ashamed. Inferior. Disrespected. Friend, do you understand the words I am saying to you?” Cue physical reaction.I did not want to leave the park. Home was not where I wanted to be with two rowdy babies, but this woman was giving me no choice. It’s a tiny park, and I attempted to move to the furthest nook a fair distance from her. But she projected. And honestly, my sunglasses, actually no sunglasses, were big enough to hide my annoyance. From the basketball courts, where I retreated and just let my kids bump into each other chasing a deflated volleyball that happened to be in our wagon, I could still hear her narrating this annoying diatribe. “Friends…feelings…respect…hindsight…personal space….are you hearing my words?” And then she announced that everyone just “needed to remove himself or herself from the altercation and reflect.” And I was out of there. We made tracks. With earmuffs. We were having lunch early, ’cause I can’t have my crew getting any ideas. Sure I may talk to them like adults. I tell them when they are being annoying, and when they are doing something great, and I try to coach them through a dialog with each other that empowers them. I’m modeling. But I am not about to start a mock therapy session with my 1, 2 and 9-year-old. They have the rest of their lives (with hopefully good insurance) to play that out.
Here’s what I know…There are too few pictures for this post, but not from here on out, ’cause this Mama finally replaced her stolen camera with a new Nikon D5100! That’s what I was doing at Sears yesterday. Right before I tossed my cookies.
*This was my first “sick” post, written during the few lucid moments I have had in the past 30 hours…