Monday, April 15, 2013

The Things Kids Say

I remember vividly the time my children had no words. When laughter and smiling, and wailing and crying, were the only signs that life was good or, to the contrary, that life was very, very bad.
I remember dreaming of the time when we could talk, when words - which I love oh so very much - would connect us, for good and for bad. I remember telling my friends, "I just want them to talk. I can't wait for them to talk." And my friends would often say, "You will take that back some day. Some day when they won't stop talking and you just want one moment of silence."
I suppose I might. But for now, I love the talking. Love it. All of it. Even the screaming of "FRUIIIIIITTTTTTTTT SNAAAAAAAAACKKKKKKKK!" I do. I love it. Because now I know exactly what they want or need most of the time.
And recently I have been pondering the things kids say a lot. Because the more I listen to the things my kids say, the more I realize that the things ALL kids say are 99% of the time a mirror of what their parents say. And I can prove it.
A week ago tomorrow, I was standing in the kitchen of my very dear daycare provider/mothering-partner/friend, explaining to her that sometimes I get road rage. That sometimes I get road rage and I yell things like "GET OUT OF THE WAY!"
Nico and Noah were in the very same kitchen, playing away, and I had no idea that perhaps their little ears were listening to their mother's confessions. Until.
Until Nico stood up at that very movement, looked Miss Sandy in the eyes, and yelled (with perfect body language, by the way) at the top of his lungs:
Yes. Yes, he did.
Because clearly I did.
I apologized. I told Sandy I expected my "Mother of the Year" Award to be prepared by pick-up time. And then I called Trevor and said, "Love, I swear, I don't think I say that when I am mad in the car!"
He simply said, "You do."
The things kids say are a mirror of the things their parents say.
Understanding this, to me, is revolutionary. Perhaps I am being a little over-dramatic here, but seriously, this shit - I mean STUFF - could change the world.
The "Oh, kids can be so mean" should really be "Kids repeat what their parents say." And then parents should fix what they say. Done and done. No more mean. No more hate. No more valuing of all the wrong things that don't define a person at all.
I have tried not to be too hard on myself, even though I kind of feel like I should put myself in time out. But let's be honest - time outs for an adult are NOT a punishment. I have tried to focus on all the good I hear my children saying, like when Nico says to me, "I love you bigger than all the mountains and deeper than all the seas," or when Noah extends out his little hand and says clear as day, "Nice to meet you." Because they heard those from me, too.
If we just listened to our children, we could fix our mistakes and start a REVOLUTION. Without marches or sit-ins or coups or guns. A REVO-freakin'-LUTION. With words. Words between mothers and fathers and their babies.
You gotta start somewhere.
Just words.


Alex said...

So true Sara! I am already trying to be better about turning down foods that I don't like, just because I want Peyton to be more open-minded to things. they really do watch our every move~

Cathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cathy said...

this has come back to haunt me for years now. yes, i was nice, i didn't swear much (never the "f"word)i was kind and tried alwasy to do the right thing. but they listen and they picked up on the slightest things and it came back to bite me years later. i understand now that they were listening and watching to see how i really reacted, watching to see if i truly was accepting of others, how tolerant i really was. the little things we say in the car, behind people's backs, after we get off the phone, etc... they see and they listen and it is not fair! because you and i are good people!