Translating Three-Year-Old Speak

So, I was walking through a local (and importantly, air conditioned) mall this last weekend, and I felt that stress headache creeping in. My husband was pushing our sick one-year-old in a stroller, who was giving “the glare” to anyone who looked his way, while my adorable three-year-old flitted around us like a too-hyper butterfly in a superman shirt and skirt. My husband was talking to me about something, and I was really trying to listen, as he was very excited about the medical thing he was discussing (um, I think maybe the esophagus was involved? Maybe?). Now, when my husband is really excited, he gets really focused – hyperfocused. He can continue talking no matter what is going on around him – no matter the noise, or no matter who else is trying to talk to him.

In this instance, my hyper three year old flitted up to him and started saying, “Daddy, can I have a cupcake? I was good and I listened, and Mommy said I could have a cupcake if I was good and I listened. So can I have a cupcake? Daddy? Daddy? DADDY! DAAAAAAAADDDDDY!!!!” Even when she held his hand and was virtually clinging to him, feet in the air, he was still talking to me, completely unaware of the small body hanging from his hand, screaming “DAAAAAADDDDDDDY!” at the top of her lungs.

And I wonder why I get headaches?

Now, most of the evening, I’d been what I will call “the translator”. You know, the person who speaks the language of both the little creatures who flit around and buzz at a constant rate, as well as the language of the big lumbering creature who can’t really hear the little creatures. Okay, confession time – when I relayed this feeling to my husband later on, I might have used  “the gnat” and “the elephant” analogy). As the noise level heightened, I realized my stress was reaching a peak and I belted out the not-so-kind, “Don’t you hear her talking to you? She’s been trying to get your attention for almost two minutes!”

It would have been easy to get angry (and I sometimes do!), but my poor hubby, my lumbering elephant, really had no clue she was talking at all. And as an aside, my hubby is in no way elephant-sized, despite the recent cardiologists pinching his *itty-bitty* bit of a spare tire and telling him “You look all athletic, and I don’t mean to judge your aesthetics, but you? You need to be perfect! Your wife will appreciate it, too.” I mean, the cardiologist isn’t wrong, of course. I would never say no to a six pack. 🙂

So, we’re still learning this whole communication thing. I think I’ll learn to bridge the gap a little sooner and let my poor gnat and elephant learn to talk so they both can hear. And I’ll find a way to nicely convey that, too.

My goofballs on a pier
My goofballs on a pier.

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