Conversations with a 3-year-old

My 3 1/2-year-old likes to talk.  Talking

Oh, did you not come to my blog today for the understatement of the century?  Oops.

Anyway, my poor introverted husband has been blessed with an outgoing, people-happy, sanguine, chatty-cathy wife AND a preschooler who can’t stop making noises, even while she sleeps.  We’re all praying Miss Bennett turns out to be a little less vocal, but…she recently hit the 12-month milestone and is showing no signs of the quiet contemplation we’d all hoped for.  Sometimes when I come home from work and Little Miss immediately starts jabbering at me, I give Husband “the look.”  The one that says, “Oh boy…” before I’ve even gotten my shoes off or put my purse on the hook by the door.  His response to me often is his “the look” which says, “you have no idea” and then he mutters underneath her monologue, “All…day…long.”  It’s his way of telling me he feels no pity for me and is happy to pass the responsibility of at least appearing to listen to her off to someone else.  (It’s also kind of his super-obvious-to-me passive aggressive way of saying, “She’s your daughter.”)

Yes, I like to talk.  I’m the parent that says, “Okay, kids, let’s go!” and then ten minutes later they’re back in the play room at our friend’s house with their shoes off because I’m still chatting with the other adults in the house.  Five minutes later I’ve called them again and this time I’ve actually got my hand on the doorknob so it looks like I mean business…


So my point is that Little Miss comes by it honestly.  And although I expect everyone to listen to me when I’m talking to them, I sometimes struggle with listening whole-heartedly to my daughter.  (Yes, I do recognize the double standard there.)  The reason for this is because she repeats herself often, makes predictable arguments, and often starts talking before she even knows what she wants to say.  For example:

LM: Mama, I want…
Me: Yes?
LM: I want…
Me: *waiting*
LM: I…want…
Me: You want…to…???
LM: I…want…to…I want…
Me: You want to WHAT?!
LM: I want…I…want…to…tell you something!

And because I’m a talker, it’s likely that during this whole excruciating process I’m waiting to start a conversation with Husband about something important.  Or I was just on my way out the door, leaving ten minutes late for work…again.  Or I need to turn on the blender.

In addition, her bargaining style, though amusing when observed in other people’s children, is beyond frustrating.  For example:

LM: Mommy, I want a cookie.
Me: Supper is in ten minutes.  If you eat a good supper we can talk about dessert then.
LM: But I don’t want a cookie after supper!
Me: Okay, you don’t have to have one. I won’t force you to eat a cookie.
LM: I want a cookie!
Me: Little Miss, did you ask me already if you could have a cookie?
LM: …Yes…
Me: Did I give you an answer?
LM: …Yes…
Me: Then we’re done talking about it.
LM: Mommy, I have an idea!
Me: What’s your idea?
LM: How about I eat a good supper and THEN I can have a cookie!
Me: *eyes toward the ceiling, mentally mockingly crossing myself *

And now I need a cookie.


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