Monday, August 27, 2007

Listening 101

From the beginning, I have always talked to Robby like he could understand what I was saying. I started this when he was still inside my body. I would tell him about what we were eating, watching on television or what horrible things George Bush was up to. Once he was outside of my body, it felt natural to just keep doing it. When he started talking, he would mostly parrot what I was saying with one word statements like TRUCK! or ELEPHANT! Next, the one word statements turned into mini-sentences that showed me he was starting to put all those words together. He would say things like, “Robby go outside” and “Eat Blueberries”. I was thrilled he could communicate his thoughts and desires to me. When I asked him what he dreamed about as we snuggled in the rocking chair in the mornings, he would tell me. (Usually it was elephants.) Last week at bath time, I realized that he has now taken it to the next level; independent thought.

Since his first bath, I’ve always held him up to watch the last bit of water leave the tub and disappear down the drain. As the last bit of suds leave, I always say, “Bye-Bye bath water. See you next time!” About a month ago, we were watching the tub drain and I told him that the water was going to the ocean. I didn’t even think he really heard me say it. He did though. He pointed to the water as it was draining and told me that it was going to the airport. “The airport?” I thought I misunderstood him but he then told me that the water had to go to the airport to go to the ocean. You have to go to the airport to get to far away places like Arizona where Grandma lives, so why wouldn’t the water have to go to the airport to get to the ocean? It makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Think about it, I have. How many times have I continued to have our conversations and not stopped to hear if he has a response? Admittedly, this is a new concept for him and me both so I can’t be too critical of my parenting skills on this matter. But then I asked myself how often I do the exact same thing with people in my life that can comprehend and respond? What about people who can comprehend and choose not to respond?

That’s a subject I’ll leave for another time.

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