Thursday, April 30, 2015

How Was Your Day?

My daughter had spent the day with my parents as I taught at our local co-op and my sons wanted to know all the details of her day.  They are always concerned that she got to have a lot of fun while they are at "school" and they usually ask me a lot of questions to get a complete picture.  This time, we decided to ask her.

"And how was your day, Rosalie?" I asked my one year old during dinner.  I wasn't really expecting any sort of response but, regardless, I didn't want her to feel left out of the conversation.  
"Pop!" she said.  "Eh hehh."  She faked crying quite believably as she reinacted the scene.  "Mum mum, Mum mum!  Eh heh."

My six year old wanted clarification.  "You cried when Papa got here?  Because you wanted mommy?"

Rosalie, looking satisfied, relaxed in her chair to eat another cracker.  I filled in the blanks for my six year old.  "She did cry when I had to leave her with Papa.  But it was better when Granny got there, right Rosie?" I asked her.

"Up!  Hurt," she said rubbing her belly, making sure I remembered to tell him about her belly ache.  
"That's right - She told Granny her stomach was bothering her when Granny got her from her nap.  I guess she didn't eat much today."

"Hurt!" Rosie added, grabbing her belly once again.  I picked her up to snuggle her then headed to the sink to clean up her hands.  My oldest was still listening, amazed.

"Mommy...She just told us about her day.  She actually did it!"

I was amazed, too. At only 14 months, I would never expect her to be able to communicate an entire story to us.  Even though I already knew what had happened, it was fascinating to watch her reinact the most dramatic parts of her day with emotion using only a few words.  I saw her face light up as we understood what she was trying to say and realized the incredible power of communication.

We all want to be understood.  We all want to be heard.  Even though she is still a tiny little girl, she is a person with things to say and experiences to share.  It reminded me that our children are never too small to want to tell us what is on their mind.  We should always ask and give them the opportunity. Maybe we won't get an answer, but it certainly matters to them to know that we care.

What questions do you ask your children each day?  Are you ever surprised about how much they share?

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