She is the kid that quietly grumbles when you instruct her to say hello to someone she has known forever, but happily and LOUDLY tells the barista at Tully’s “At my mom and dad’s wedding, I was in my Mama’s tummy!” At Starbucks, she likes to stand in line by herself while loudly making conversation with anyone who will talk to her and voicing her disappointment in the discontinuation of the raspberry chocolate cake pop. I know what you’re thinking…that kid drinks a lot of coffee.
It’s not just coffee, yesterday when we went to Trader Joes, she announced to the woman stocking shelves “My mom LOVES wine. It’s her favorite” and proceeded to point to every bottle with a pretty label shouting“This one is beautiful! My mom should get this one. It’s very beautiful, huh? I love this one!!!The blueberries look yucky so we aren't going to buy them” Then we get to the check out line, the checker compliments her shoes, she gives a quiet “Thank You” and hides behind me.
It’s weird how quiet she gets when people talk to her. Sometimes she answers and sometimes she hides behind me and sulks. When she isn’t the one initiating conversation she oftentimes turns into Michigan J. Frog. ( the Warner Brother’s Frog that sings his heart out when no one is looking but completely shuts up when he is expected to perform)
For the most part she is well mannered and will say please and thank you and hello and goodbye and gives answers to questions, but beyond that…I have no control over what if anything will come out of her mouth. I fretted about this for a while, because, when I have time to think about things I tend to obsess. Is this some sort of psychological or behavior disorder? Is this what comes from not breast feeding long enough or eating brie and soft serve when I was pregnant? Then it dawned on me. Oddly, I am exactly the same way. I can be loud and outgoing and chatty but sometimes when people talk to me or I am put on the spot, I feel tongue tied and self conscious. Sometimes I tell people way too much and sometimes I keep to myself. Why should my four year old be any different? So with that little piece of self-reflection, I decided to just sit back and enjoy this bizarre 4 year old that sprung from my loins. (I can’t believe I typed that, I hate that phrase…I should probably edit that out).
As a parent I can instill manners and appropriate words but beyond that. I have no control over when and what she chooses to talk about (Wait, I also hate when people say “As a parent”..So I should edit that out too…but I want to tell you that I hate that phrase, so I guess I have to keep that in” Hmm, I wonder where my kid’s strange stream of consciousness comes from J(Did I just type a smiley face?!)
When I take her to a public bathroom she has to loudly narrate the whole experience, including her thoughts on automatic flushing toilets, how pretty the shoes are in the stall next to hers, and completely random conversational piece. A conversation goes much like yesterday’s. “
My Kid: (from the stall) I got the toilet paper myself, Mom I really don’t like hot chocolate…bears are really growly..aren’t they growly mom?
Me: (from outside the stall) Yup they are growly, can you use a quieter voice I am right here.
My Kid: (Just as loud)They aren’t REALLY growly though, they are just a little bit growly.
Me: Yes, they are a little bit Growly
My Kid: No mom they are REALLY growly. They are bears! (To the woman in the next stall) I really like your shoes.
Me: Are you done in there?
Yeah, I was done a long time ago.
So, we were just hanging out in the Fred Meyer Bathroom discussing hot chocolate and the growliness of bears, while people waiting in line either thought she was precious or wanted to throttle her (and me) for holding up the line.
The "cute shoes" woman from the stall is now washing her hands next to my kid and says “I like your shoes too” I expect my kid to shuffle behind me and grumble a quiet “Thanks”
“Thank you! My mom is going to buy strawberries if they don’t look yucky. Last time they were REALLY yucky and they costed a lot of money. I LOVE strawberries that aren’t yucky. They are my favorite except blueberries. The blueberries at Trader Joes were really yucky though"
I never know what’s going to happen. I guess that’s parenthood in a nutshell.