As a stay-at-home mom, I spend about 90% of my day in conversation with a 3 year old. The other 10% of the day, our continuous conversation is drown-out by screaming from one source or another (sometimes me). This constant dialogue can be repetitive and silly and repetitive and hilarious and repetitive. But, I have actually learned a lot through these simple conversations–and through the jumbled mumbles of my 2 year old and the babbling of my infant.
And so, here are 10 of the things I have gotten really good at as a mom, thanks to my chatty, social, wonderful little brood of kids.
Mom, can we get a kitty?
But why, mom? I really want a kitty!
I’m sorry, but no. We are not going to get a kitty.
We just can’t!
BUT, MOM, WHY!
It’s just, well, I’m sorry, but, you see, where we live, ummm, it’s against the law.
Against the law?
Yes, there is a law that says that we can’t have a kitty where we live. I’m sorry.
But grandpa has a kitty at his house.
There are different laws where grandpa lives. It’s against the law where we live.
You mean, if a kitty comes to our house the police will come take us to jail?
Yes. That is what it means.
Yeah, so no kitty.
I don’t want to go to jail, mom.
If you get your shoes on all by yourself you can watch a movie in the van.
And I get a sucker?
No, just a movie if you get your shoes on by yourself.
All by myself?
Than I want a sucker too.
No sucker, just a movie.
One shoe and I get a movie.
No, two shoes, on all by yourself, and you get to watch the movie.
I want a movie and a sucker!!!
Fine, just get those shoes on and get out to the car!
3. Defining Difficult Terms
Mom, am I a bad boy?
No, I’m sorry I got mad at you. You aren’t a bad boy, you’re a good boy. You just sometimes do bad things.
I’m a good boy?
Yes, you’re a good boy and I love you very much.
I just do bad things. Like hitting my sister? That’s bad?
Yes, hitting your sister is bad. I don’t want you to do that every again.
Cause that’s bad?
Yes hitting her is bad.
And I’m a good boy?
Yes, you’re a good boy, so you need to do good things.
Is Bernadette a good boy too?
No, you’re sister Bernadette is a good girl.
No she’s not! She’s a poop-poop face!
<slugs his sister> <screaming>
4. Discerning Children’s Noises
Hum…. Is that screaming I hear? Yes it’s screaming. But not one of my kid’s screaming. Someone else’s problem.
Wait, there is another scream. Yup, definitely one of mine. But, that’s more of an angry, give-me-back-that-toy scream. They can sort it out. It’s quiet. They must have figured it out.
Okay, something else seems to have happened. That was a big scream, but now it’s silent. Are they done screaming or just holding their breath?….Holding their breath. I’m coming!
Hey, honey, how was your night last night? Did the baby get you up?
Yeah, he got me up.
How many times?
A couple, I think. Wait, did he? I think I went in there… Wait, I remember being in there, but not coming back. And then, oh shoot–can you go check if the baby is in the crib? I don’t remember what I did with him!
6. Saying Yes
Mom, can we have peanut butter and jelly for supper?
Mom, can I write some things in your special planner? I think you forgot to put some things on the calendar.
Fine, go ahead.
Mom, can I crawl into my dresser and throw all of my clothes out onto the floor? It’s like a tiny little house in there and I love!
Go ahead. Have fun.
Mom, can I gather up all of the hangers from the whole house, hang them from myself and go by the name “Hook Man” for the rest of the day?
Mom, can I style your hair this morning? You’ll look so pretty!
Oh yes, please.
Mom, can you carry me while you grocery shop and push a huge cart of food while wearing a heavy winter coat?
Mom, can I play with your phone for awhile? Got to write some important emails to my kitties on the farm.
Sounds like a plan.
Mom, can I crawl on your back and ride you like a horsey while you give the baby a bath?
Mom, can you sleep sitting up while I whimper and whine in your ear all night long?
I’d love that.
7. Teaching Life Lessons
What’s that stuck to that paper, mom?
It’s a mouse.
A mouse for me to play with and love?
No, that mouse is dead. Daddy is getting rid of it.
What? Why is the mouse dead mom?
Mice don’t belong in houses. Mice belong outside. That is a bad mouse that came into our house. Because it was bad, mom and dad set a trap and we caught the mouse. So now the bad mouse is dead and dad is getting rid of it.
That’s a bad mouse?
Yes, mice that come into houses are bad.
But, that’s not a bad mouse mom! That’s good mouse. He just do bad things! He’s a good mouse, mom!
8. Making Empty Threats
You need to start being a good boy. I just saw Santa outside this window. He’s watching you and he knows that right now you are not being a good boy.
What? You saw Santa?
Yes, right outside this window. And he saw you throw your toys against the wall.
Santa is out there? In the cul-de-sac?
Yes, he’s watching you to make sure you’re good.
Was Santa in a car?
No, he was…
He wasn’t in a car? Was he riding a reindeer?
Was he in a helicopter?
No, just be…
Was he on he sled?
Um, yes, he was on his sled and he’s watching to see…
No he wasn’t! If he was here in his sled there’d be tracks out there in the snow. And I don’t see no tracks, mom!
Just, be good, okay?
9. Interrupting abstract art
It’s a robot? It’s a tractor? It’s a spaceship? It’s a robotic tractor in space? Awe, yes, I see.
It’s bed time.
What? It’s still light out!
Doesn’t matter. It’s bed time.
Says me, buddy! And the clock says so too.
It says bedtime right here, on the clock?
Yes, that says “bed-time”, right there <pointing at the numbers on a clock>.
Oh, that says bedtime?
Yes, that’s what it says.
Yes, it goodnight.
Thanks for indulging me