Wednesday, August 10, 2011


One of the great things about being mom to my kid is all the great conversations we have. I admit, there are more conversations than I prefer at times. Actually, it's probably that certain conversations simply go on too long. I have not mastered the art of ending them gracefully, that's for sure. I may have even stopped trying. In diplomacy, there is always wiggle room for your opposition to get back in the game. I hope I'm not damaging my son by telling him directly, 'I am not discussing the inner workings of the (DMV)anymore, ever again, period.' Frankly, I think I need to tell him sooner in the process, because sometimes, that's exactly what it is...a long, long process. Also, I must learn to ignore him, they say choosing your battles in marriage and child rearing is key, and I believe it. Letting the battles go is tough though, particularly when all your buttons are being hammered on at once.

I went to a parenting class a few years ago and one of the group exercises was for each person to anonymously write down one of his or her particular parenting challenges and toss it into a hat. Each group then picked problems out of the hat and attempted to give unbiased constructive feedback toward solutions. Generally, a fine idea and lots of great ideas were exchanged. I did not express my challenge adequately. The solution I got to my incessant talker and foolish self imposed requirement to engage fully and answer every thought and whim every time, in every conversation was, ready for this? to give said child my undivided attention, look him in the eye, and tell him, "I care about what you have to say, and I'm willing to listen for 4.5 minutes, then I'm going to make dinner." Really? Was there some slight of hand in there that I completely missed? Does the 4.5 minute bit activate an off switch that nobody told me about? 4.5 minutes is not a problem. 4.5 hours, days or weeks is a problem, depending on the subject matter. Maybe I am a selfish and terrible mother for seeking ways to hush my child's voice, his inquisitive and bright mind, his very curiosity.

Really, I am most interested, dedicated even, to facilitating his interests, helping him find his passion, his expression. With that in mind, we may need to rework the last of the summer hit list. Do they offer summer camp or tours of the post office, DMV, or EDCO?

Drop off tours that is.


Sam said...

LOL! I love this post. You know I can relate. And I don't even know what EDCO is. I guess I should ask Nathan.

Slow Panic said...

OH!!! I have two of these kids!!! Someone help me. They can stretch out a story/topic/conversation FOREVER. Actually I don't even have to talk -- I just let them go and nod every once in awhile.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I think the 4.5 minutes is for your sanity--not his!