Monday, August 6, 2012

We're being squeezed.

When Alex was younger I lived in fear that he wouldn't talk.  I think it was that way with all my kids, I think everyone worries to a certain degree about this.  Every last one of my kids started talking late and when they did start to talk?  They never stopped.  There was a steady stream of conversation, chatter in the house.

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.

43 comments:

  1. You're a better mom than I am. I cannot take the constant blabbing. I'm sure it's one of my sensory things. The John Madden play by play. In my head I'm saying, "STFU!!!!!!!" Out loud I say, "If you'd like to give a play by play, please go upstairs and do so."

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  2. Oh my gosh...this IS my life!!! Tate and Alex should hang out together in a room and talk each other's ears off while they process through their stress and anxiety about the impending school year. We start in 17 days....and I don't know if *I'm* going to make it.

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    1. I would LOVE for them to chat away to each other!!!

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  3. I completely understand what you're going through. Our eldest even does the running commentaries with our 2-year-old who has started pushing her away and saying, "NO!" We've remedied this a bit by spending at least one day out a month doing something our Aspie doesn't like (usually involves being outdoors) while she spends time with her Grandparents. It's a relatively quiet day for the rest of us and we can really be present for the other two without the constant chatter.

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  4. First of all, the grape "sticks" are awesome dead trees undoubtedly from the lava from the volcano and the jewels?! Clearly, Alex can give you some solid reasoning on how they came into existence, right?

    Don't feel alone in Alex's anxiety. I'm sure we will be having the same here any hour now. I guess we just support our kids and then support each other, right? xoxo

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  5. My youngest son is the same way. He's talking to me right now. He doesn't quit. Not ever.

    I love that he talks. I love that he has so much to say. But for now, I'm calling his father so he can say it to him....

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  6. Hang on! (Yes, I am picturing the poster with the kitten on the tree branch, sorry) I love how you nurture your children's interests (both ninja and non-ninja). Maybe Alex could provide a guest post---I can just imagine what new things I would learn on any given topic of interest.

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    1. Sorry, it's actually "Hang in there baby"

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    2. Great, now I've got an image of a kitten hanging on in a tree. I blame you.

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  7. SH never is quiet. NEVER. She makes my head hurt with the never ending talking about stories she's made up in her head or about how this and that works and on and on and on until I want to rip my ears off my head.

    I'm with Andrea. I want to read a post from Alex! Maybe interview style????

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    1. If I did a post with Alex it would be longer than War and Peace. And he'd try and correct me. I would go insane.

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  8. Smart woman to figure that out. And yes, even though our kids are looking forward to school starting, we've started to deal with nightmares and extreme talking/negotiations here too.

    When I can't take the talking any more, I supervise their cleanup in the car, house, or yard. Why did I not think of this sooner? Then I make sure we get outdoors and run around for a bit.

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    1. I need my car cleaned out. That's a good idea. :)

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  9. My son talks a lot too. He'll just interupt you while your talking to someone or on the phone. And if I tell him to wait, he'll start yeling. School can cause anxiety in kids like ours too. My son is worried because now he's in grade 3 and his classroom is on the second floor with the big kids. I hope Alex has a good transition.

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  10. '..how the transformer on the telephone pole works.'

    At least he's talking about interesting stuff!

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    1. It is, but it gets old. I sent him to talk to my husband for a while....

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  11. Mine is a chatty Cathy too. And a master manipulator and negotiator. I'm still holding out for a career in politics, because he could talk his way into anything.

    You guys must be kicking the Monopoly play into high gear right about now, huh?

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    1. You have no idea. He has a monopoly board on the driveway made out of chalk right now....

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  12. There's one volcano erupting and another about to here in NZ if that will help any. I hope the next few weeks go quickly for you!

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  13. Alex is lucky to have you. I would imagine that spewing lava would create gem stones of some kind. And if not, well it should!

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    1. I know, that shit should come out all bedazzled shouldn't it?!?

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  14. Nail on the head, missy! Also, best volcano in the history of ever!

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  15. We should get Alex and Little Miss together too... he can talk and she can repeatedly ask "why? why not? what kind?" It sounds like a match made in heaven!

    Hang in there, lady. Hopefully, once school starts, things will even out just a little.. well, at least I have my fingers crossed for you that they will!

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    1. They would be a match made in heaven!!!

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  16. We are living the same life. Sweet merciful baby Jesus and all that is holy, I'm at my wits end from being on the receiving end of minute by minute, ego threatening comments about my imperfections. I'm tough, but boy oh boy, it's enough to give a girl an eating disorder. Hope the kiddos find some relief through the routine. A girl can hope, right?

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  17. I'm dreading school starting again. I'm so not looking forward to it. It's easier to just be at home. SIGH.

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    1. The thing is? I'm torn. Really torn.

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  18. I am scared to death about school starting. Zane will be in pre-K. I expect many phone calls and parent conferences...

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  19. Waaah, not fair.... I have a non talker! It is okay, I am not giving you all a hard time. I do understand what you go through as I have friends with kids who talk non stop. I am just a teeny weeny bit jealous! :)

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  20. I feel ya. Cody's a yakker too. ;)

    Your volcano totally rocks! I think the added grape sticks are brilliant.

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  21. Oh God yeah, my boy is such a talker too and was late to do so. I know I should be grateful, it was so worrying but sometimes I just want him to stop!! Then I feel bad! Constant questions ('ask your dad he knows all about that!') or changing rhymes or song lyrics so they're rude.....sigh!

    xx Jazzy

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  22. I want to write a post about this non-stop talking one day!!! I cannot wait for the day that I get tired of Lily talking. BRING ON THE WORDS!!! Then when it happens, and I'm complaining in a blog post, you can say, "told you so!". :)

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    1. I can't wait for that day, I really can't! xxoo

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  23. I feel your pain! I absolutely know how draining it is to listen to my son talk constantly! I often try to remind myself of those years when he didn't talk at all, and how badly I wanted to hear his voice. And sometimes that makes me a little more tolerant. But if I only had a nickel for every time I heard, "Hey Mommy!"

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    1. I know!!!! Ohhh, we can't win, can we??? :)

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