Tuesday, March 16, 2010

He says, she says

When my son was a toddler he rarely talked. For about six months a speech therapist came to our house once a week and tried to draw out his words. Eventually he started to speak but still, he remained a boy of action and few words. Until this past year, that is. It's as if he discovered the joy of articulation overnight and now assaults us with non-stop verbal artillery. Take this salvo, thrown at me as I was pulling into the Target parking lot the other day:

“I just burped without making a sound. I wish my bones were superglued together. Mommy, when I opened my juice it 'sploded. In you van. Are you mad? I smell french fries.”

His words are like buckshot, tiny pellets of minutiae scattered to the wind. He'll throw a hundred words at me and maybe six or eight will stick.

My 7-year-old daughter on the other hand, chooses her words thoughtfully. Hers is the silver bullet tucked with care in her pocket, withheld until absolutely necessary, never wasted. They have the power to melt hearts and wound them.

Tonight she was harping on about something that was unfair so I sent her upstairs for a cooling off period, which only served to further stir her ire and as she made her way down the hall to her room she yelled the following at me: “I hate you and I will never apologize! And if I do apologize I won't mean it!”

While I should have been wounded by this, I've been hated by her enough times to know that it only lasts the duration of her time out and besides, I was too tickled by her addendum to be hurt. As predicted, once she was allowed back downstairs we made fast with a hug and a game of trash, in which she beat me soundly.  Fortunately, both my children are fluent in the language of forgiveness, as are all children, in their wisdom.

I'm a bit apprehensive, however, for her teenage years, when her tongue may grow sharper and her cooling off period longer. At least I'll have my son to talk at me while I'm waiting her out. Unless, of course, they go changing on my again, as kids are wont to do.

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  1. They are all so different hey.

    My 10 daughter sometimes continues to talk directly at me, even though it patently obvious I am doing something that requires concentration. Like reading. Does deter her though. Then I have to say "Stop" which hurts her feelings and I fail in my mothering AGAIN.

    The seven year old, having ASD, talks about the things that interest him, often quite a bit, but if he doesn't feel like talking, nothing much makes him.

    The three year old is just incredibly loud. Well to my ears anyway. He does a shitload of whining too.

    Great blog as usual :)

  2. I wish someone were so lovingly observant about me, cherishing my moods and odd habits, delighting in watching them develop and solidify into personality.

    Kids are so lucky to have loving moms.

  3. Lolling on the "I smell french fries." Kids are so hilarious. Goldmine for blogposts. Hehehe.

    And totally agree. They are the most forgiving creatures. Why can't we be like them? Sigh.

  4. I'm not looking forward to teenagedom at all. Not even a little bit. Okay, maybe a little bit, with the showering themselves and wiping their own bums.

  5. ha I love this post -- and it is true ( so I believe) with a son that so far can only imitate the rooster next door and say the word car 1000000000 times a day - I look forward to hearing what pearlers he will come out with in the future.

  6. ha - kids! They crack me up. My own casually observed (whilst watching a supposedly moving charity appeal with other children scouring a rubbish dump for food)

    "Well they wouldn't be there unless an adult had said it was okay, so what's the problem?"

    message well and truly received there then!

  7. Ah. My little monkey is in for a speech therapy assessment next month. His gross motor skills are better than mine, but he just dies not have much to say.

  8. I like that your daughter added "and if I DO apologize, I won't mean it!" I am in my 30s and WISH I could come up with that kind of retort. It's brilliant. Subtle but brilliant.
    And- burped without making a sound. Awesome. Now if they could just (pardon)fart without making a smell, life would be perfect!

  9. It's amazing what little ones can say. At work today, I have my old glasses on and no make-up because I am recovering from pink eye. I was complaining about my glasses, and this third grade boy told me that I was "hot" and he wanted to marry me. Wow. A little inappropriate, but kids are great. And I did feel a little better.

  10. I have a commentary like your son's running in my head constantly. It's a struggle to keep it to myself. I wish I could be more like your daughter - and definitely think up sentence closers like that!


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