For those of you who haven’t noticed…. one of the short people in our house got an extra dose of the talkative gene from her mother. Often it’s pretty humorous, and generally I try not to judge…after all, she DOES come by it honestly. It’s in her blood I suppose (deep down I REALLY blame Aunt Christine. She was the chatty kathy in my family….i think. Hard to tell in a family with 4 females, 1 male). However, I will admit….it can get a bit exhausting. I try really hard not to tune her out, but on the other hand if I don’t…well…bad things start happening around 4pm. And most nights Ryan’s not home till 6pm to
keep me in check take over listening to children.
When Asher was her age I used to strain my ears to listen to him sing and talk to himself at random times during the day. As a reward for my mommy-spy efforts I would get sweet little peeks into the heart & mind of my son. It’s been awhile since I’ve done that. I even flat out told Grace the other day that if she needs to ask me a question or ask for help she may not do it in song b/c when she’s singing I tune her out & won’t come help her (due to not knowing she’s calling for me). That sounds harsh doesn’t it?
I used to think Asher talked a lot. Mostly he asked questions a lot. I’ve noticed lately he doesn’t ask so much anymore. I can’t tell if it’s developmental, if he just doesn’t have much chance for getting a word in edge-wise, or if in the midst of all the listening I do, I’ve stopped ANSWERING. I try not to feel too bad there though, he does look up answers himself a lot now-days. That’s probably a good thing.
Anyhow, assuming the Lord gives us insight on training her to be a good conversationalist (i.e. listening as well as talking), I know her gregarious nature will be a blessing to many. She’s especially handy to have around before church starts. I’m terrible at striking up & maintaining conversations with strangers….ie. being social & friendly (particularly to visitors!). Grace has nearly none of this shy awkwardness and by wandering off to talk to random people she forces me to do so also.
This being said, I feel comforted when strangers make remarks that most people might take offense to. It is not at all uncommon for strangers to mention her verbosity, in the grocery store, at parks and especially when waiting in lines. Today was a great example. I had to pop into my doctor’s office to have blood drawn. The last time I did this it took perhaps 10 minutes total. Today there was a long line at the lab. As we sat in line for 20 minutes or more, Grace took it upon herself to entertain the elderly gentleman in line behind us. By this I mean she talked his ear off (granted, she also asked him conversational questions but he had trouble hearing her, so she gave up on questions early on) until I felt like he had enough (i.e. picked up a magazine & proceeded to ignore her). During this time he laughed & said things like, “she just feels like she needs to fill up the empty air with all those words doesn’t she?” and “So does she just go on like this all day?” lastly, with a sympathetic look, “this is why parenting is for the young. I wouldn’t last 1 hour with this one” (shortly after he picked up the aforementioned magazine).
Mostly I think it doesn’t bother me, because they make me feel sane. So I’m not imaging it? Surely if strangers feel comfortable commenting on the draining power of her constant chatter, it’s not just me? Surely I’m not exaggerating? Surely there IS a good reason I can no longer handle questions or stories or chats come 4:30 or 5?
Lord, please grant me strength, wisdom, patience, playfulness and endurance to know how to shepherd this sweet noisy ball of energy.