About 90% of the things that come out of my mouth are a waste of time. Why? Because most of the time my words are never heard. Whether I am speaking to my kids, my husband, or even my dog, the words coming out of my mouth often never reach my intended target. It’s almost like I never spoke at all.
Recently, my kids and I were gathered in the kitchen for our morning medication routine. After giving my kids their downers and popping my uppers, I decided things were going well enough to broach the subject of dinner.
I know – big mistake. A) I should NEVER ask an opinion on dinner. It always leads nowhere and ends with me pissed off with a headache. And 2) Don’t ask about something that is more than 5 minutes into the future. It’s a lost cause. They’ll never remember the conversation and I am then badgered for the next 7 hours about what’s for dinner.
But on this fine day, I broke my rules. The following that occurred is true. Only the names have been changed for no real reason.
Me: Hey guys, listen up. Hey, guys, look at me…look at me. (touching each kid’s shoulder) I have to ask you something. You listening? Everyone?
Them: Yes. (briefly making eye contact)
Me: I was going to make kielbasa and rice tonight, but we had chicken and rice last night. Do you want kielbasa or grilled cheese instead.
Now I know that is a long sentence and a lot of information followed by a choice, which throws my kids. This was evident since by the time I said “kielbasa” the first time, the boy had gone back to playing with his lego figure and my daughter had turn to her brother and started an entirely different conversation with him, essentially talking over me.
Me: Hey! Hello? I just asked you a question. Did you hear me at all?
Yaya: Yes. Of course!
Me; What did I say?
Yaya: ( blank stare) Umm. You said brush your hair and your teeth.
Me: That was a half an hour ago.
Me: (to the boy) What about you?
The boy: Umm, well, I don’t know because I can’t read yet.
Me: Seriously? I asked you a question. I didn’t write anything down. There was nothing to read.
The boy: Oh. Well, I don’t know because ummm,you know, I can’t talk so I, ummm, I don’t remember.
Me: I asked about din…
Yaya: Grilled Cheese! I want grilled cheese!
Me: Oooo-k. That good with you, dude?
The boy: No. I want a hot dog. And I want it shaped like a squid.
Yaya: Oh me too! Can I have a squid hotdog?
Me: Sure. How about hot dogs with mac and cheese?
The boy: Wait. I want mine to look like a human instead.
Yaya: A human? That’s gross! I still want a squid.
The boy: No wait! Can you make mine into a creeper? That what I want!
Yaya: Oooo! I want an Enderman hot dog!
Me: I’ll make it into the Statue of Liberty if we can just stop this conversation.
Great. Now I have a headache.