Teaching Myself to Talk
When I was expecting my first born, my colleague came to work one day very exasperated. She said ‘ For the first couple of years you’re going to teach that kid of yours how to walk and talk and then after that you will be teaching them to sit down and shut up’. I laughed the laugh you usually do when you are trying to understand whether she was being real or not. I mean, it’s such a delight to hear the little ones talk, why would you want them to shut up?
Time has proven what I heard that day, were words of wisdom. Two kids later, I can vouch for the several occasions that I had more than an inclination to disown my offspring in public thanks to their stark honesty (read: rude comments), determination (tantrums) and quest for knowledge (the never ending questions).
I’ve been on a learning curve of this interesting practice of filtering out the words through their mouths and feeding the right ones into them. If it weren’t for my kids I would have never learnt how to express frustration using a calm voice and diplomatic words. Wars have been fought over plate, spoon, chair or butt-space territory where I bet I put expert hostage negotiators to shame. Outright rejection has been laughed off and put straight with either a kiss and a hug or a bellow depending on the circumstance. Every weird comparison they make gives me a fresh perspective on something, even though it sometimes involves shapes of chewed food or shapes of the digested after product of food. Their painfully honest comments about my lecturing have taught me to pause and take a detour to lighten the mood, laugh off criticism (sometimes) and be positive. They have a knack for timing these deliveries when most apt as well. Like a few seconds late and that nice looking lady would have almost gotten away without doubting whether she looked pregnant.
Even though I forget it when it is happening, I realize later that their Fitra is so pure; they say it as it is. Probably what we should be doing ourselves in an ideal world that isn’t filled with condescending beings that dictate what is proper and what isn’t.
I have learnt through them that sometimes we need to talk silly to talk real. Chewed food and poop is as real and close as it gets, even more than National Agenda, Global Warming and Political Climate. Let’s linger on the mundane a little longer today and talk about things that matter to them, it might teach us a few lessons on the way.