Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Little mind-readers

One thing I often say to my children is, “I’m not a mind reader.” Because, boy, they sometimes act like I am! They get upset if I don’t do a certain thing or make them a certain thing to eat. It’s like I KNOW they want me to do this for them or that I KNOW they want a certain food to eat. But I don’t. Maybe they think I do that often enough that I’ll always do that, but that is not the way life is. Nothing is ever predictable.

Well, today I started to wonder if my kids can read MY mind. Or, at least, they pick up on things from me.

Jesse had a difficult morning today. He just didn’t want to listen when I was trying to get him to eat his breakfast or get dressed for school. It was like he was in his own world, or something. Finally, as he was getting his socks on, he grew serious and said, “Let’s start over.”

“Okay, that’s fine,” I said. “We’ll start over.”

But at the same time, I was standing there thinking, start over with what? I really hoped he wasn’t going to undress then get dressed again!

But instead, he walked over to me and said, "Let’s start over with me being good.”

I smiled and told him I would like that. But at the same time, I couldn’t help but notice how he said that right after I was puzzling over what he said. That was interesting! And a little strange.

The same thing happened with Jennifer later in the day. After I picked her up at the bus stop, we briefly chatted with a friend then we went to the store because I had to get a new phone card. In the store parking lot, Jennifer went over to a truck that had a window down and started to reach inside the window. I panicked and grabbed her arm, pulling her away. Then I noticed a dog sitting on the driver’s seat. I sighed, recalling all the times I have told Jennifer not to pet strange dogs because they might bite her. I can still remember the time when Jennifer, age 4, reached out to pet a stray cat when we were on one of our walks and the cat went haywire and scratched her arm. I then reminded her she shouldn’t try to pet animals who didn't know her.

“But the dog looks sad,” Jennifer said, sadly looking back at the animal. “I just wanted to pet him.”

“Honey, you need to be careful around strange dogs,” I reminded her again. Yes, the dog did look sad but could have still snapped at her, or something. At the same time, though, I was hoping the dog was not really sad and not sad because of being with someone who was hurting him. I tried to smooth it over later on by saying, “Maybe he’s just lonely.”

Jennifer still looked upset by the sight of the dog and said, “I hope whoever is with him is not hurting him.”

Once again, I was quietly surprised that one of my kids had picked up on the same thing that I’d been thinking.

Well, it’s probably just obvious stuff. Jesse explaining what he meant and Jennifer thinking a dog might be sad because of a mean owner. But I still thought it was kinda neat, too.

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