So I’m up to Day 14 of the “Find the ‘awesome’ in your family!” Challenge and the daily email has asked me to choose one moment to stop what I’m doing and really listen to my child.
The last time I did this exercise during the challenge was back on day nine, when I had to engage in mindful conversation with my partner by asking open-ended questions and actively listening to his replies. That went totally tits up when I went all psycho-hose-beast on his ass after he made the cardinal error of politely asking me about my day when he got home, so I was hoping for a much better result with this version of the same challenge.
My three year old is a chatterbox. If there was a pharmaceutical version of Imodium indicated for chronic cases of verbal diahorrea he’d be on the highest dose. Getting him to talk was never going to be a problem. Getting him to actually stop would be.
So at one stage today he was doing that thing where he was just chattering away non-stop about something or other and I was doing that thing where I’m not really listening but pretending I am by absent-mindedly throwing out a few active listening phrases like “Mmmm” and “Really?” and “Yes…” and hoping that I’m slam-dunking them in the correct context and not actually agreeing to buy him a Shetland Pony or whatever, when I pulled myself up and decided that it was probably a good time to switch on, plug in and nail this challenge thing.
It went like this:
Mr 3.5: Foxes are cool. They always take people with lunch boxes, don’t they? They always take people’s hearts.
Hugzilla: What!?! What does that even mean?
Mr 3.5: I don’t know.
It was kind of creepy. I had no idea where to go with the conversation after that, but at least it didn’t end with anyone dropping a series of heated f-bombs and storming out of the room, so I’m calling that an awesome win. And I learnt something from that exchange. I learnt that my kid thinks about some really weird and interesting shit. I should probably listen to him more often.
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