Thursday, March 19, 2015

I'm Going To Stop Saying, "Be Quiet!"

Brennan, 5, talks.

He talks in the morning. He talks in the afternoon. He talks in the evening.

After we send him to bed at night, he talks to his brothers until sleep beats him senseless, and he finally gives in.

But when he wakes up in the morning, it starts again. Almost like it never stopped.

My son's incessant chatter has become the background noise of my life.

We ran errands today and he showed at least 10 people his missing tooth.

I said, "Please be quiet."

He told one man that he would be old one day, and that mommy is old now.

I said, "Brennan, Baby, be quiet."

He said that one man had a beard, but he hoped he never had a beard because that wouldn't be right.

"Brennan! Be quiet!"

And so forth and so on, it continued until I considered filling my ear with coffee grounds and dryer lint. You know, the stuff I have lying around the house. Because clearly, asking the child to be quiet was not doing the job.

But I didn't.

Instead I started to think that maybe there was a way to turn the whole thing around.

Maybe the problem isn't that he's talking, but that I'm not listening.

Maybe he is filling our days with words in the hopes that I'll hear at least something that he's trying to tell me.

He's in bed now, and finally quiet.

I told him that I really wanted to hear what he has to say, and would he please lie down and think about what he wants to tell me tomorrow. And you know what? He did.

When he has forgotten, and started talking, I've asked if there is something he needs to tell me. I've asked if it's easy or hard to sleep while people are talking. And I've reminded him that he's going to think of all the important things he needs to tell me about.

It's actually been much better.

Maybe the problem with my pint-sized motor mouth is that it isn't his problem at all. I think it's mine.

I have to remember that they're children for a single hot minute. But just because they're small doesn't mean that they don't have anything valuable to say. In fact, when I think most about what Brennan tells me, it's that he loves me.

So my new experiment in motherhood is going to be to stop telling him to "be quiet", and instead asking him to tell me the most important thing in his mind at that moment.

I'll let you know how it goes.

*****
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2 comments:

  1. Twitchetts BlogspotMarch 20, 2015 at 7:01 AM

    I have a chatter box at home he has actually told a teacher "I birthed him a talker"... I am a talker too, so maybe his is right... I will definitely give this a try!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Let me know how it works out for you. I am already learning a lot!

    ReplyDelete

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