Friday, March 11, 2011

Small talk


I already know why my son will stop talking to me when he's a teenager. It's because for the first twelve years of his life he will have talked to me incessantly about things I am not interested in and I will tell him numerous times, when I have reached capacity, that I don't want to talk anymore and can he please zip it. That I'm not that interested in electricity. Or the settings of my iPhone. Or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which is ironic since I'm the one that introduced him to both the book and the movie as they are my favorites. Rather were my favorites until he talked about them so much that I wanted to drown him in a river of chocolate).

I need quiet. I need long periods of time during my day when no one is talking to me. Which is why I thank god every day for my mornings when I'm at home working or writing or whatever I'm doing. And I have these mornings so that by the afternoon I can pay attention to what he's saying and respond and engage and try my best to encourage his curiosity. I want him to ask questions. To think about how it all works and make his own sense of the world.  I just don't want to always answer him. Sometimes I can't answer him.  And why is it that I don't know how the scanner communicates to the printer. I mean I use these two things everyday. Why am I not interested? Because I just want it to work. I don't care how.

But he cares. He cares so much that he makes up stories about it. How the scanner speaks only in English to the computer and the computer has to translate the message into Hebrew because the printer only speaks Hebrew. And the scanner needs the computer to pass along his message to make the image print. I mean it's effing brilliant if you ask me, but hearing about it everyday makes me insane. He once told me about how there's someone else at school who likes to talk even more than he does and he told me about that person for forty-five minutes.

But I know a time will come when the roles will be reversed and I will desperately try to elicit conversation, even just information, from his eye-rolling, pimply head. And when he's silent I'll fill the silence with endless questions and stories and ramblings. But that will make him shrink away further. And there I'll be with no one to help me with my phone settings or my printer. And it will be my own damn fault.


elisa said...

That is just too cute. I know it's driving you crazy but, really, who knew the scanner only spoke Hebrew? That explains so much!

I'm glad you do get a break in the mornings. So now you can enjoy him and all of his explanations of the wonderful and creative ways the world works.

aimee said...

oh yes. i understand this -- the need for peace and an OFF button for the constant chatter. my older one is an internalizer (which brings its own issues) but my younger one is loud and constant. when i have peace breaks, i can appreciate the questions and entertain the noise. when i don't... i am an insane person.

Naomi Broudo said...

It felt so good to laugh out loud. You crack me up! I have had a very stressful week thinking about our future. This was the break I needed!

I know this is actually a serious matter but really, the scanner and the computer talking different languages? There is absolutely nothing more endearing than that. I hope you keep a copy of this blog in a journal so that when the time comes, you will be able to reread these jewels!

Your kids (and you) are amazing!!!

shabbat shalom

Sue Rutherford said...

Worry not. Michael never was one to tell me much about his day or life and still (at age 30) is not. Jessie on the other hand talked incessantly and still shares lots about her life.

I love that the scanner is really a translation machine - only too accurate. These youngsters know it all. Just the other night I was waiting for John at the airport and a 3 year old was so much more iphone literate than I could ever hope to be.

no way said...

I have a talker too. I have tried requesting a 10-minute break while we wait at the bus stop for my older child so I can savor the silence and regroup, but so far, not a lot of luck. I soak in any quiet time I get. xoxo to you and your chatterbox.

RookieMom Whitney said...

My 6 yo is obsessed with the years in which songs were released -- and years in general. He asks a lot of "What year do you think x song came out?" and when I say "I don't know," he automatically pushes me "But what do you THINK?"

Now the 3 year old is imitating him. She told me the other day that something happened "recently -- in 2011."

I am tuning them out more and more, but don't really like that habit. I might miss something good!

AG Ambroult said...

Oh this story. That boy. Those questions. I can totally relate. And there's nothing like a little kid's questions to make you (me) feel pretty dumb. I got Tis one the other day: "how does the clay harden? I mean is there a chemical reaction or something?" My answer was a shrug of the shoulders. Whatamom.