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I don’t Want to Talk About It

September 30, 2010

That was Peter, as I was unbuckling his car seat, headed over to Baba’s house.

He was very serious about it, and he didn’t budge.

I can see how that might break some moms’ hearts, to have their three-year-old cut them off like that. But it made me smile.

Peter had, just an hour before, made a Very Bad Choice. It REALLY annoyed me, and I let him know it. I do not generally budget major clean-ups into my morning routine, and some things just aren’t flexible, like catching the bus or getting to work on time. So, Peter and I did a hurried clean-up, and I continued to grumble.

Several “what were you thinking?!”s followed. Seriously, how stupid of a question is that? Especially when directed at pre pre-schoolers. Yet, I cannot keep myself from using it after some Particularly Bad Choices.

Then I gave it a rest. But just as I was dropping him off, I wanted to have one last word about it, because I knew it just wouldn’t mean much after 8 hours, which is when I would next see poor Peter. In a much calmer voice, I explained why it was a problem, and, as is my wont, asked Peter what different choice he could make next time he is in a similar situation (which, of course, is supposed to elicit a Better Choice that is more meaningful than ME telling him what that right thing to do is).

Eyes averted and scowling, “I don’t want to talk about it, Mom.”

I like that. While avoiding discussion may not be the ideal communication skill to encourage, I thought this response showed a lot of maturity. I have things I don’t want to talk about, too. And, considering a three-year-olds other choices (crying, shouting, kicking, screaming), avoiding conflict seems like a Pretty Good Choice.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. amyg permalink
    September 30, 2010 12:21 pm

    After one particularly bad choice my son had made in first grade (cutting class — I mean, really?!) and my subsequent what-were-you-thinking tirade his only response was, “It’s complicated.” I appreciate a response that makes me chuckle a little bit (on the inside) when things get heated. You’re a great mom!

    • September 30, 2010 12:53 pm

      Seriously, HOW do you cut class in first grade? That’s pretty good. And the “it’s complicated” just tickles me.

  2. September 30, 2010 4:48 pm

    Perfectly reasonable response on Peter’s part.

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