Friday, January 2, 2009

The Fly on the Wall: Mom

I love listening to my kids when they are not talking to me. Here are some conversations I’ve overheard lately.

Ben: Do you smell brownies? (He’s been in and out of the kitchen all day asking to lick the spoon. Now he’s looking for accomplices)
Elliott: Yeah, mom’s making some.
Ben: She’s making those little ones with the white stuff and the cherries. (said in that dreamy voice that only a 5 year old can make sound perfectly innocent)
Elliott: Yeah, those are good.
Ben: What’s your favorite part of those things? Mine’s the frosting. Or maybe the cherries.
Elliott: Are you playing this game or what?
Ben: Don’t you love those cherries? No, I don’t want to play anymore. Let’s go see if mom will give us some cherries!

Abby had been on a sleepover, and Sunday after church we picked her up. It was quiet on the way home until…
Ben: Abby, did you know we had church this morning?
Abby: Yeah.
Ben: And we did Sunday School without you?
Abby: So?
Ben: And then we did church and we did that thing that Elliott can do but I can’t do and I can’t remember if you can or not.
Abby: What thing?
Ben: That thing where you get the little snack and the tiny little cup with the juice in it. Can you do that?
Abby: Oh, you had Communion. Yeah, I can do that.
Ben: Why do you get to do that and Elliott gets to do that but I can’t do that until I’m… well… I don’t know how many I can be until I can do that.
Abby: ‘Cause you have to understand that it’s God’s body and God’s blood and it’s serious.
Elliott: It’s symbolic.
Abby: Yeah, it’s not blood, but it’s still serious.

Abby: Deck the halls with hows of holly, fa la la la la la la la la!
Ben: I wanna sing that too – start over!
Abby: Okay, but you don’t know the words, so repeat after me. Deck.
Ben: I don’t wanna repeat you I know the words, just sing it!
Abby: Okay, Deck the halls with hows of holly…
Mom: Honey, it’s boughs of holly, bough is another word for branch, and holly is a very pretty winter tree.
Abby: Okay. Deck the halls with vows of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la.
Ben: Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Abby: I want to sing it myself, Ben, okay? You sing quietly in your head.
Ben: But I know the words, I can sing it loud if I want. DECK THE HALLS WITH VOWS OF HOLLY, FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA.
Abby: Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la. On we now, or they will feral, la la la la la la la la.
Ben: What are the words?
Abby: Okay, let’s start over. You repeat what I sing, okay? Deck!
At this point mom had to leave the room…

Ben: Elliott. Elliott. Elliott. Elliott! Elliott!
Elliott: What?
Ben: Isn’t it so cool that robes come with pockets?
Elliott: Yeah.
Ben: You can put so much stuff in your pockets if you want to. Like cars, and Pokemon, and Bakugon, and Diego legos. Look at what I have in my pocket, Elliott. Elliott! Look what I have in my pocket!
Elliott: Yeah, cool.
Ben: Isn’t it cool that robes come with pockets? Elliott, isn’t that cool? Elliott! Elliott!
Elliott: Mine doesn’t have pockets.
Ben: Oh. (Long pause) Mine does. Do you want to put some stuff in my pockets? They’re pretty big. Elliott? Elliott? Elliott? Do you want to put some stuff in my pockets? Do you? Elliott?
Elliott didn’t answer, he had finally fallen asleep. Ben gave up about eight minutes later.

I think because they don't want anything from me, I'm able to just listen to them when they talk to each other. I can hear their personalities and discern their roles in the family. Elliott is focused on his own thing but recognizes the fact that having siblings means at least he isn't alone all the time. Abby is the teacher and the joiner - she tries to get everyone involved as long as they do it her way. Being the only girl, she has that luxury. Ben is the persistent follower when they are all together, trying to be a part of everything and not wanting to miss out. He's got quite the personality, but as the youngest, he's eager to hide it in order to fit in.
I'm going to miss the conversations between them the most. Soon, I know, they will figure out that I can hear them, and soon they'll all have their own lives outside the house. I hope they remember how to talk to each other, how to enjoy that. I hope that someday, some holiday far in the future, I'll be able to listen in again.


Susan Raihala said...

What a precious post! Eavesdropping is a perk of motherhood, don't you think?

Happy New Year!

firecracker panda said...

Oh man. I've never really gotten that excited about pockets before myself but I'm going to try to appreciate them a little more.