I am beginning to fear my conversation with others.
I have a little one at home and there is no end to the training that must be done with her daily. The reminders to say “please” and “thank you.” Or the stern voice I use to show her that I mean business. However, I am finding that these ‘toddler talks’ are starting to become the normal template of my conversations. With adults!
I have caught myself on numerous occasions, saying something marginally inappropriate to family members, friends, and even co-workers. Asking folks about going potty or if they need tissue for boogies. Once, after handing my patient her shoes and eye glasses after her procedure, I found myself prodding her with a “What do you say…?” when she didn’t say thank you! And although that little old lady was in fact rude for not thanking me, it was so not proper for me to scold her!
I have the habit of asking my daughter why she did a certain thing that was perhaps out of line. To get her to reason things out for herself and see the folly of her decision. This too has become my mode of communication with others. Asking “was that a nice thing to do?” or “will that make me happy?”. And finding myself having to laugh things off as a joke once I realize what I’ve just said.
I have been mortified with myself at snapping my fingers to get someone’s attention. Something I do to my daughter when she’s too distracted and not paying me attention. I find myself using “the voice” with my husband when we are in the middle of a tiff or disagreement. You know how men don’t listen very well–they always want to fix things so fast that they’re not really hearing the diagnostics of the problem, right? Well, my husband is no different. I once caught myself sternly telling him: “listen to my words!”. This is something I tell the kid when she’s not focusing on what I’m telling her to do and continues to do what she thinks is best. Well, even though this applies to my husband trying to be Mr. Quick Fix, I’m sure it’s not the best form of communication for marriage mates.
I mean no harm with any of this. But it is really hard to switch out of Mother Mode when I’m talking with others. So far this hasn’t gotten me into too much trouble but I doubt my luck will last indefinitely. The day is going to come when someone won’t be so understanding of my days spent coaching a little one. So let me apologize now if I do this when talking with you. But if you say “please”, wash your hands after you potty and put your toys away, we shouldn’t have any issues. 😉