Ah, children. What is it about them that make us examine every little thing we do? Lately we’ve come to realize that this little guy has a really amazing memory. Like, creepy amazing. We watched Ratatouille the other night for the first time since we saw it in the theatre. And he asked us to go past the part with the lady and the gun. Also, the part with the knives chasing them? he did not like. Just so we’re clear, this is a movie we watched ONCE in the theatre 5 months ago. and he remembers.
He is ferreting away every word we say, every thing we do, every gesture and every time Nathan and I make a refrence to something that happened. It’s causing me to really examine the words i use and the way i use them. For example i call him names a lot. Not in a mean way, but i call him silly goose or monkey butt or goof ball or freak-a-zoid… but now? he’s starting to call me names…. Like A-head (?) I assume they come also partially from school, but who knows. So. I have begun the language tempering phase. We had the “not nice to call names” talk, the “words can hurt” talk and the “not nice words” talk after he dropped a “dammit” that sounded suspiciously like his father repairing something.
We’re also starting to get into the part of explaining that is a little harder. Like “why is pappy in the hospital?” and “where is your grandma?” and “what is dead?” We’ve tried to be as clear, as concrete, as simple and as comforting as possible. We told him that when people get really, really old or really, really sick that sometimes their bodies get tired and they stop working. “like their batteries go dead” And then people don’t live here anymore, but they live in our hearts and we can see them whenever we want by remembering their stories, looking at their pictures and hugging them in our dreams. Of course now, he runs up to my grandfather and tells him that “grandma lives in my heart” which is both sweet and heartbreaking… (and opens me to the “why didn’t you tell him she’s in heaven” discussion, but that’s another blog)
These are the things i never feel quite prepared for as a parent. Like the mean issue? I know at some point he will realize that the chicken we eat is the same chicken we pet at the farm… or that his Nana and Papa are getting old, and getting old means dying, right? Or that sometimes getting sick means dying? or what about when the fish dies? or our dog? I think we’re doing it the right way, but perhaps our parents had it right when the shielded us from the icky bits of life when we were little?