Toddlers are funny creatures. When you want them to listen to you, they seem to be on another planet. When you don’t want to be heard, they interrupt a million times asking, “What did you say, Mama?” Then, they can repeat verbatim whatever you said.
My boy is particularly good at ignoring me. We were swimming in a river today and I kept asking him to move closer to me. It was like I wasn’t even there. Use of his full name was required to acquire said attention.
I sing Indigo Girls songs to M when I put him down for nap or night. Cliche? Yes. Yes, it is. But they are the only songs I know by heart when I am asleep inside. Most nights, I will rock him and my eyelids will get heavy. Sometimes, this translates into me slurring the lyrics a bit or substituting words that either sound alike or mean sort of the same thing. M, who should not be listening because he is sound asleep, actually listens rather intently to these songs. Tonight, as I rocked and fought sleep, World Falls was being butchered. M kept correcting me, “No, Mama. Burning hope turning all my blues to black.” “No, Mama. You forgot to say ‘I woke up in the middle of a dream'”. At this point, the kid was lucky my mouth was moving at all.
What I have learned: He is always paying attention, even if he seems like he went to Mars. He is picking up everything, ears constantly perked. Songs lyrics to bad jokes to unkind words, and everything in between. Tonight’s lesson is to be kinder with my words because what I really want my boy to hear is kindness.