Kids are obnoxious. In addition to being bonkers busy and energetic, my kids are both the “chatty” variety. I hear that some kids are quiet and shy. I hear that some kids are “lump-ish,” and their parents have to encourage them to get off of their butts and play. My kids are full-octane. All the time. Every day. Except….
There is one glaring exception: when we attempt to FaceTime with my parents. I try to do that at least 1-2 times a week for each parental unit. I want my kids to have that real sense of close contact with family other than our household, and unfortunately all of my people live so far away that they might as well be on the moon. My mom makes a huge effort, flying or driving their RV down three or four times a year. She takes us on adventures as much as possible – the beach, the Fair – and sends postcards. My dad occasionally sends awesome fancy shoes (for Stella) and princess gear. Felix gets an odd truck or two. But after grinning or making a face into the phone, will my children talk to these people? Fresh ears? Nope.
It’s uncanny. They will both hammer me with chatter – What’s that? What’s that mean? Can I wear a princess gown? I want to watch Spongebob. Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Sit, mommy, sit. Blocks. Color? Brown paper? I want popcorn. Can I have a treat? What’s that? What’s that mean? (Yeah, that last one I listed twice on purpose…That’s Felix’s current catchphrase, which always occurs in groups of two and gets louder with each utterance until you tell him what’s that what’s that mean?).
Then I call my mom or dad. Both kids suddenly become candidates for mime school. Stella will say a few rather strange things then clam up. Felix will do a drive by, maybe ask whats that what’s that mean and leave the field of view. Occasionally they start sparring over some toy or wrestling. But they do it largely silently.
Will has suggested we set up a mock FaceTime screen on those days when we need peace. It might just work.