Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Their Mouths, My Words

Don't you hate it when your own words come back to haunt you? This is the story of my life as a parent. Lately, I am hearing my sweet parrots repeat things I have said to them...and somehow they seem to take on a different meaning when I hear my words in their voices.

Sometimes they are when they tell me how much they love me. Or when they check on me after I stub a toe or hit my head or clumsily injure myself some other way.

Sometimes they are hilarious. Tonight I overheard an argument between P & R. I was trying to stay in the laundry room and let them work it out, but P's wailing was showing increasing signs of frustration. I tuned in just in time to hear R say, "P! Stop cwrying! Dat is not how 5 year olds behave."
I peeked around the corner to find R standing in the middle of the game P was playing. As P tearfully yelled at R to move, R had his hands on his hips just lecturing away about P's misbehavior.
"What's going on in here?" I asked.
R puffed up like a big man who had it all under control, looked at me with wide, serious eyes and said, "P is just having a hard time bein' a 5 year old today, Mom."

Sometimes hearing the words back makes me cringe.
K has had a difficult afternoon, testing her limits a little more than usual. I realized late this afternoon that I had really been on her case. As I was putting her to bed I wanted to reiterate to her that my love was unconditional and not at all dependent on her behavior. I wanted to remind her how terrific I thought she was...turns out I didn't need to.
"K, today has been a hard day, but tomorrow we start over...and you know what, if I got to pick a daughter from all the girls in the world, you are the one I would pick. I love you."
She smiled then said, "Mama, sometimes when I look at other girls I just think about how special I am."

Did you hear that record scratch in the background? I was speechless.

After a few moments I managed to spit out, "You are special, sweetie, but what makes you really special is that you are God's little princess."
"Am I the only one?" she asked, "or are other girls God's princesses too?"

Two things struck me...
1-The unmistakable longing deep in the heart of a female. We all want to be someone's one and only.
and 2- I think I can back off just a little on worrying about K being 'built up' and start working on emphasizing humility a bit more.


Kylie, Jesse and Asher said...

Oh I love it!! It makes me giggle just thinking how K's mind works. What precious kiddos you have!!

Tara said...

They are so funny! And yes, I can remember when I realized all the "self-esteem" building tactics had worked a little too well. Our conversations these days have to do with not boasting.

Aubrey said...

Too funny. I too am surprised to hear my children steal my phrasing. Humbles me and makes me concentrate on how praiseworthy my words and actions are. Not to mention attitudes. I cringe every time I hear one of my children 'grrrrrr' from their bellies. Um, yeah...they got that from me.

Liz said...

I love the honesty & innocence of children! Thanks for sharing your kids' stories!