Both the girls have an understanding of when you can talk and when you can't. Alex has not acquired this small bit of information.
Consequently, when he did start talking, he didn't stop. When something was on his mind he'd blurt it out, whether it be at dinner, or smack in the middle of going to the bathroom. I've been listening to this boy talk at me for eight years.
And the thing is, he doesn't let up. He doesn't stop talking. Ever.
Do you know how draining it is to have an eight year old question everything you do? Or give you a running dialogue on how you could be doing it better? Correcting you every time you make a mistake?
From taking the chicken out of the freezer, to how I use the computer, to how often he thinks he should take a shower, there is a conversation. There is a negotiation, a lesson, or a correction, not for him---for me.
Every day. All day. The conversation does not stop.
And the thing is, it's my job to teach him the difference between talking to someone versus talking at someone. It's been a hard lesson to pass on---for both of us.
I've come to deal with this constant stream of conversation headed in my direction in several ways, depending on how much I can take, versus how willing I am to debate the issue at hand.
At first I was so damn happy he was talking, I talked back and engaged him. He loved it. I loved it. But as he got older, the demands became something I couldn't handle. I simply could not stand around and talk about how a lake's ecology progresses through time or how a battery functions or how the transformer on the telephone pole works.
I tried redirecting him to another project but that invariable let to more questions. Even the volcano project we did last week ended up with us in front of the computer Googling the earth's mantle and the ring of fire.
|Our volcano has jewels and grape sticks. |
That's how we roll.
And now he's no longer is just interested in acquiring information. He's interested in when I'm going to be done making dinner and he'll set time limits on what I do. He's slowly trying to work our schedules around what he wants to do. What he wants to do and when he wants it.
I couldn't figure out why we've had an uptick in behavior.
And then it dawned on me. We moved into August. He starts school in two weeks. He's nervous, anxious, fearful. He wants to go back to school but he's looking down that great big gaping maw called uncertainty.
I'm looking down it too. For as busy as this summer has been, I've liked to see my kids stress free, wrangling with each other, and happy.
So for right now I've figured out what he needs and I'll be on the receiving end of our conversations. I'm OK with that.