June 25, 2008
Silence is Golden
That's the rule I've been trying to remember lately. And I've been doing pretty well. For example, when Jerry and I were reading over the information on how to choose parts for a gaming PC the other day and after about 15 minutes he decided he wanted to get up and play with balloons, which sent memories of trying to get him to do his homework and him deciding he wanted to get up and run around the house flashing through my brain, my first thought was, "But we should be reading this." My second thought was, "Relax, you spastic, brainwashed-by-years-of-school, freaker-outer and just have fun with your son."
So I did. And when he was batting at balloons and I was throwing them and we were talking about the air currents and resistance and laughing and our bodies were lunging and bending and we were working up a sweat, I did not say, "Hey, we're doing science and getting really good exercise! We should do this more often."
When we tired of playing with balloons I suggested that he might like to work on his marble run while I read out loud about the computer components. (I know. I know. I couldn't let it go--but he agreed!)So he worked and I read and eventually his attention shifted to putting streamers on our front door for the cats to play with. When he asked for my help I didn't even think about saying, "We should keep reading this." (See how I'm improving!) I just helped. And when he said "Hey, let's go to the party store and get some silly string!," we hopped in the car and came back with three cans of silly string, two glow sticks, and more balloons. By this time I was done thinking. I was just having fun. We sprayed the silly string in our front yard and when it got dark Jerry broke out the glow sticks.
The next day (that was yesterday) we went to Universal Studios with some friends and when, very early in the day, Jerry said he was ready to leave I didn't say, "Why did I spend $300 to take you and a friend to Universal Studios if we were only going to stay for a few hours?" Oh wait, I actually let that one slip.
But after that I diligently kept all other toxic thoughts to myself. I was following the other rule, "If you can't think of something nice to say don't say anything at all." And I was trying not to let my body language say mean things either. I reminded myself that we came to Universal Studios to have fun. Not to have a specific number of hours of fun. Just to have fun. And by the time we got back to the car it was fun again. Phew!