Thursday, April 18, 2013

What I Say...What They Hear

As of late, I have noticed quite a discrepancy between what I say and what my children actually hear.  At one time I thought, "Hmm...maybe they really can't hear me."  Not the case.  I now officially know they can physically hear some sort of noise escaping my lips, proven by the fact that my son just passed his hearing screening at preschool.  

So I've developed a new theory:  Between leaving my mouth and arriving at my children's ears, the words somehow completely transform into an entirely different language.  I think we may be hiring a translator soon.

Because I have gotten pretty rusty speaking toddler or preschooler myself, I am simply making my best guess here.  But this it is.  This is my attempt at making sense of this mystical linguistic process.  

(I'm hoping a Nobel Peace Prize may be in my future for this ground-breaking, highly scientific work.  Or maybe Rosetta Stone will pick me up for one of their programs.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves here...I just hope you read the rest of this post.)

What I Say:  "It's time for quiet time.  You may read books or play quietly in your room.  I'll let you know when rest time is over."

What They Hear:  "Please come in and out of room as many times as possible.  It would be great when you do actually stay in your room, if you could mess around with the door knob and make as much noise as humanly possible.  It would totally make my day if you could both arrange to have to poop at some point during this time, too.  Thanks!"

What I Say:  "Please show kindness to one another and play nicely together."

What They Hear:  "This is the first stage of your training for wrestle mania.  Try as many holds on one another as you can.  Bonus points for whoever strikes first!  Stealing of toys and getting in each other's space is greatly encouraged as well.  The icing on the cake for Mom would be if you could whine a lot, too.  It would make the time I spend trying to make dinner so much more special!"

What I Say:  "Put your shoes on.  We need to leave the house in 5 minutes."

What They Hear:  "It's play time, guys!  Dump out every single toy you have ever owned.  This would be a great time to go exploring under your beds and in the back of your closet, too, to look for any lost treasure that may be lurking there!  While you're at it, go ahead and take your socks off, put them on your hands and use them as puppets.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  Oh!  One last thing!  Mom would love it if you could try to hide in her closet or behind the furniture after you do all that other stuff I said.  Thanks so much!"

What I Say:  "Please walk quietly by me while we make our way to the back of the library for story time."

What They Hear:  "On your mark...get set...GO!!  Is that all you've got?  You've gotta really want it.  I can't hear you...pump up that volume about 10 more notches.  That man in the quiet study room on the complete other side of the library working feverishly on his lap top can barely make out what you're yelling about.  Work those lungs!"

What I Say:  "Finish eating your dinner."

What They Hear:  "Go ahead and play with whatever food is there on your plate.  Push it around a little bit, spill a little bit on the table and just kinda mash up whatever else is left so it is no longer recognizable as having once been something edible."  

What I Say:  "No."

What They Hear:  "Yes!  But first, let's see if you can whine and carry on and really put on a great show.  Let me see what you've got here.  When we're in public, the louder and whinier you are the better, too."

What I Say (in a barely audible whisper to their Dad while the kids are in the other room playing and talking to each other):  "Maybe after dinner we go for a bike ride and get some ice cream."

What They Hear"Maybe after dinner we go for a bike ride and get some ice cream."  
What I Say:  "I love you."

What They Hear:  "I love you.  I believe in you.  I value you.  I am so lucky and so blessed to have you in my life.  You are worth more than anything in this whole wide world to me.  You are loved now.   You have been loved since before I even saw your face.  You will be loved forever.  I am here for you.  I am here for you.  I am here for you.  I love you."

As a side note, teenager speak is completely foreign to me.  And it scares me.  If any of you have the rare talent of being fluent in this language, please leave your contact information and I'll be in touch with you in about 10 years or so.

While you endure the selective listening and parent-to-child mysterious language transformation, hang in there and remember, You Are a Good Mom.


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