If you’ve been around for more than five minutes,you probably know I’m pretty straightforward. My best friend of 26 years would tell you that, a new friend I just made last week would tell you that. And they’d both be putting it nicely. I have no time for couching words, or passive aggressiveness, or any confusion whatsoever. Is it a positive? Is it a negative? I don’t know. Depends on the situation, I guess. I’ll let you know statistically in about 50 years.
However, being straightforward, and as incredibly word dependent as I am (how can you not love words, seriously? They are EVERYTHING.) now that my children are old enough to articulate what they want and need from me, they do. Directly. This is amazing, and while I just dumb-lucked into it like I do everything in my life, I highly highly recommend doing it.
How? I don’t know, really. I think it’s because I am so direct about how I feel, what my anger means, when it’s a bad time to talk to me, what makes me feel emotion of any kind, and I’ve constantly talked at them since birth using all the adult vocabulary I have.
I have very emotional kids. They require absolute presence and lots of patience, neither of which I have, unfortunately. But I’m learning. I’m trying for them. And I’m trying to teach them how to request those things in a way in which they’ll receive their desired outcome. And I’m trying to teach them how to appropriately deal with disappointment when they don’t get what they want,especially when they ought to get it.
I think it’s going well.
I really love these kids.
So, the most important things they are saying to me currently:
“My tummy feels different.” 1) I’m hungry, 2) I’m nervous or dissatisfied.
“I want a hug.” I need a hug.
“I don’t know what you mean.” I am not able to picture the simple process you are describing and this is frustrating to me, indicating not only a breakdown in communication, but a chasm of self-doubt as I berate myself for not understanding you. I will need a hug in two minutes.
“You don’t know what I mean.” I am utterly frustrated with your complete inability to given me what I am asking for, not only in terms of what I am physically saying, but also in terms of my bodily cues. I have expectations about how this situation should be going currently, and I cannot articulate them without changing how I feel the situation should be going and further confusing myself. I need you to do your best to magically figure out exactly what I need, or somehow push me past the boundary of this mattering so very much.
“Can I do it again later?” I hate what I’ve just done, but I know you want to move on, and I now know you hate it when I tantrum about perfection and I will always lose this battle. Will you allow me to think I will be able to go back to this and fix it to my liking later, so that I can move on knowing that everything will be okay at the end? (They never go back to it).
“Do we have more?” I will forgo the pleasure of this treat if it is limited in quantity. I need to see the exact specs of my situation to feel comfortable here.
“I’m just going to run away and cry.” I have absolutely no idea how to handle the emotion I am feeling in this moment, and I would prefer to lose control without your judgment. I feel alone and unwanted. (I never let them run away and cry, btw. These turn into long hug sessions.)
“Why aren’t we talking about me?” I brought up something that you thought was general, but actually I need validation and support that my identity and strengths are valued here. You’ve misread what is going on. Please support me.
“I think you care more about Lilly/Dulce than me.” You are giving my twin a lot more attention right now probably for a very valid reason that I don’t care about at all. I need to be assured that I am also desired and loved and that I don’t have to be sick/hurt/crying to be so.
“I love you.” I love you.
And the best thing that they say?
Every single time I say, “Hey girls, guess what?” They reply, “You love me.”
If that’s the only message I ever get through to them, I will be happy.