I have never been good at talking with other people. I developed a little talent at one-liners in high school and college. That cost me a good friend. I have a propensity for puns but that tends to hinder conversation unless you want others to talk about you. . . or groan.
Where I have struggled is keeping a conversation going with a new acquaintance, with my own children, with my co-workers, with my boss. I watched others have conversations and I wondered what they did that I was not doing. I just couldn’t figure it out, which is probably a comment about my inability to observe.
Daddy #1 often seemed unreasonable with his kids. He seemed harsh, overbearing and demanding. He said to me that kids should be servants, not masters. I wondered if he took that a little too far. He ruled with an iron fist and was quick to voice his opinion strongly, forcefully, and often loudly.
He disciplined severely and encouraged others to do the same with their kids.
It seemed to me that he was leading his kids in such a way that the only kiss they would give him would be a goodbye kiss. They would rebel at the first chance.
They didn’t. So I ask, “Why not?” (more…)
Imagine this: an airline without any posted arrival and departure times.
This guy goes up to the desk and asks, “When does the plane board for Nashville?”
The answer: “We’re not sure, sir, but it could be any time.”
“Do you know when the plane will arrive from Orlando?”
“We’re not sure, sir, but it could be any time.”
He persists, “How will I know when to board?”
“We’ll make an announcement sir.”
Later he is reading a book, and an announcement is made. He misses it. Frantic, he asks someone, “What did they say?” For the fifteenth time it has nothing to do with him.
Approaching the desk again, he asks, “Why don’t you post schedules?”
“We don’t like to straitjacket ourselves, sir. Just look at it this way; we are never late.” The attendant smiles, showing that two teeth are missing. Our frequent flyer understands why.
It seems crazy, doesn’t it?
The wild thing is that we often run our homes like that. We don’t want to straitjacket ourselves, so we play it loose. Our kids are like the frequent flyer (more…)
“Hey, Patch, are those clothes finished?”
“…working on it, Mom.”
30 minutes later…
“How’s it going, son?”
“I’m doing it…”
30 minutes later…
“Hey, as soon as you finish you can go ride your bike with Anna!”
“OK, Mom, I’m folding….”
It always amazed me that certain children doing a “simple” household chore, folding clothes, could take SO long, and still never really be completely finished! Even after he thought it was done, random clothing and isolated socks still littered the folding space. I could have it done in 10 minutes–completely folded and put away!
Are there answers to these puzzling little people mysteries as we raise our children? (more…)