One of the common complaints of a stay-at-home mom is that they miss the adult interaction and adult conversation that a job out of the home provides. I've got to say that I haven't found that to be true for me--I probably get enough from friends and family.
But while it may not be "adult" conversation, there's plenty of chatter at our house. Alexis never seems to run out of things to say, and Tyler is quickly following in her footsteps. Just in the past few days he's been speaking in full sentences. For example, this morning he told me, "For my birthday I want a horse." Of course that's after Alexis told him it was his birthday (which it's not), and that he wanted a horse (which he probably doesn't).
So I've been thinking lately about the many joys of conversing with children, and I thought I'd share them with you.
One, your conversation doesn't have to be at all based in reality. In fact, the more made up it is, the better.
Two, there's never an unspoken competition to see who knows more. When dealing with a preschooler it's already fact that they know more than you. But instead of leaving you feeling stupid like a smart adult might, a child just leaves you confused. And on the rare occasion they don't already know something, like what is Ariel's favorite color, for instance, you can make up the answer and they don't suspect a thing.
Three, rhyming and made-up words make you sound cool and fun, instead of weird and lame. If you tell your preschooler she looks "babe-a-lish" (a made up word for pretty) she takes it as the highest compliment. If you tell one of your friends that...well that might be awkward. And kids think it's fun if you finish your sentence by rhyming the last word several times, like "time for bed fred red ted ked med led", whereas adults would assume there's something wrong with you.
Four, kids love nicknames. When putting Tyler to bed I can call him like 5 different names and he knows they all refer to him. "Ty-guy, time for bed. Let's get in your jammies bubba chubba. I love you Mr. Brown"--not at all weird to him.
Five, breaking out into song, or singing what you want to say is strongly encouraged by children, and it doesn't even have to be in tune or on pitch (or whatever the phrase is) which is lucky for me because I never am.
Yesterday Alexis was telling me about a dream she had and it had me busting at the seams with laughter. It seemed to be a very real dream to her and she just went on and on and on about it. Basically she was in a place called "LiaLauraLiaLauraLiaLaura" (which are the names of two sisters that she's friends with) with her friend Jake and his dad and mom and brother. All sorts of crazy stuff was happening, but there was this machine that shoots out "lollers" and they make the sound like "swish, swash!" (she waves her arms as she says this), and if you eat a purple one you get fat. Because there was this one guy who used to be flat (skinny) like she and I, and then he ate a purple "loller" and he got fat. But it's okay to eat the pink ones. There was also something else about a mountain breaking, but I'm fuzzy on the details. It was just funny because it was so very real to her. Plus she used the word "flat" because she didn't know the words "skinny" or "thin" and I thought that was HILARIOUS!
Now I have to go because Tyler, who was supposed to be napping, just took his diaper off and pooped all over his bed-diarrhea style. I would say that not dealing with poop would be one advantage to going to work out of the home, but it wouldn't be true if I went back to where I used to work.