Wednesday, March 17, 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 forgivemess, 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.
Also posted on Wanderlust