Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Open Lines of Communication

A picture from the babysitters (the Grandparents) from the weekend.  They were even brave enough to take them all to a restaurant!

As mentioned in previous blogs, it has been a rough couple of weeks. Despite our difficulties, laughter still rings throughout the house.  We still have four boys that say and do "the darnedest things."

Connor and I had a major stand off over white chicken chili the other night.  He stuck his lip out and whimpered, "This is torture, not dinner"..and so our mealtime spiraled downward.

He eventually stuffed down a few bites and bolted from the table.  Clearly angry, I scrubbed the dinner dishes with a vengeance (perhaps they've never been so clean!).  After the last dish landed in the dishwasher, a guilt washed over me.  I felt the urge to reconnect with my son and erase whatever hard feelings lingered between us.

I crept up into his room and snagged a spot next to him on his top bunk.  We talked for a bit and I began to feel the bitterness wane.  In a better place, I whispered to Connor, "You know you can talk to me about anything.  If there's something going on, I'm always here to listen."

Connor perked up and he gazed into my eyes with intensity.

I prepared myself for whatever deep thoughts/concerns may be lurking in his mind.  Did he arrive at some deep theological epiphany? Did he want to talk about the birds and the bees?   

Connor cleared his throat and exuding as much passion as he could muster said, "I really don't like a cafeteria worker at school."

I said in stunned silence.  This is what he needed to talk about?  Clearly in my list of things I needed to get off my chest, this wouldn't rank high.  I almost couldn't stifle a giggle.  But in Connor's little world, this was major.

I listened to his rattle off his complaints about this man how he: 
-didn't let them talk even when his class was on the "green light,"   

-accused him of dropping a noodle on the floor, and

-talked too loud.

It certainly wasn't the discussion I was imaging, but I thought it was a start.  I'm imaging opening the lines of communication between child and parent is a process that happens over time.  It begins with a comfortability earned with (so-called) trivial talks but can lead to an openness with deeper discussions...or so I hope!

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