With children, you sometimes question your sanity. If you were an outsider looking in, you will see the many repeated questions and the many ignored requests. Let’s assume you want to ask your child what he would like to have for dinner. You start by asking like a normal human being.
“What would you like for dinner?”
You decide that maybe he didn’t hear you, so you raise your voice a notch.
“Hey, what would you like for dinner?”
This may go on a few times before you realize that your child isn’t even looking in your direction, so you remember that you should probably try to grab his attention by gently putting your hand on him. Finally, eye contact. So you ask again, repeating the question using a normal volume then raising your voice a little bit. He squirms away, you walk behind him strong, thinking that you’re the mom, you are putting the rules. He’s not the boss of me, you say to yourself. He runs, you walk a bit faster. A few more minutes of this and it turns to a full on game of chase.
Who’s the boss now?
You throw your hands up shouting that this is not a game so your kid says fine but nothing else. You ask again and get nothing.
You wonder next whether you need to be facing your child when asking so you try that. It takes some effort but you finally have eye contact. You look into his eyes and suddenly all his childhood years fly by but no! You will not succumb to his cuteness.
So you ask, slowly and making sure to articulate each letter: “What would you want to have for dinner.”
It’s happening. You have eye contact, you see that your kid is listening to you, and then the dreaded answer comes: “anything”.
Scoff, because making “anything” means he will eat “anything,” isn’t it?
With children, looking at the many times I ran around like a headless chicken I salute myself. I salute myself for closing the door on my finger and for knocking my head into the cupboard for no reason, all in the same morning. I salute you, mothers, for being able to decipher your child so that no verbal confirmation is needed, you only need to be there to read the clues.
So you end up making some pasta, knowing that he’d eat it… and he does.
Verbal confirmation is not for mothers, they are telepathic,