If I am going to mention seeing a bird outside, I need to be committed to sitting at the window pointing and giving all efforts to help her see it as well.
If I use a saying like "pot calling kettle" or "just by a hair", I need to commit to the explanation that may lead down a rabbit hole. Thirty minutes later we may still be hashing out exactly what this means and when to use it. (And whoever said kids have short attention spans obviously did not have a child like my oldest.)
Today we were baking together while her sister took a nap. I prepared by getting out the things we needed and sitting them on the counter. I let my daughter help cut the butter and put it in a bowl to be melted. Then I walked away for a second to grab the pan we would need to grease.
I returned to find her beaming with pride. "I cracked the eggs!" She had tapped them on the counter then shoved her finger through the crack to splinter it, allowing the egg to come out with a only minor bits of shell. She had done great! Unfortunately she had put the egg in the butter bowl that still needed melted but that could be mostly remedied. I made my words focus on how great she had done getting the egg in without much shell and how she had followed the next directions all on her own.
Giving her the dish that needed greased I turned my attention to separating the butter and egg. First question, "what is greased?" Oh, right! So I showed her how to run the butter around the dish. "Does the side need rubbed?" I turned to see her pointing at the inside side of the dish and I responded, "yes, all over. Grease the whole thing."
Two minutes later I finish what I am doing and turn to find she has literally greased the entire dish, top, bottom, sides, handles... I did my best not to laugh because she is very sensitive of thinking people are making fun of her. She had done exactly what I said, greased the WHOLE thing.
Even with these reminders I still barely caught myself when I told her to "fold in" the cherries. Two hands were ready to dive as I quickly stuck a spoon out and showed her what that meant.
Laughter does my mom-heart good. Children are my constant reminder to be precise with my words, not just in baking but in loving. I read last week that you shouldn't tell your kids you love them "the same" because it will always feel lesser to them and it isn't honest. Instead tell them exactly what you love about them uniquely.
While my kids may be my reminder, it is important with everyone. How many times have my husband and I miscommunicated because I abbreviated thinking he knew what I meant? How many times have I let my speech fall into the "never/always" trap? Precision is important in our tasks, our relationships, and in the way we speak to ourselves.
I'm grateful to be reminded to be more conscious of my word choice. I'm grateful for my kids that are always helping me grow. I'm grateful for the laugh we got today from my miscommunication. I'm grateful for patience today as I answer a lot of questions from my ever-inquisitive preschooler. I'm grateful to keep trying and making the effort to be more precise and more conscious with my words. I'm grateful for the times I succeed. I'm grateful for my family.
Where is your communication precise and where could it use some help? What relationships help remind you of the need for conscious, precise communication?
May today allow our miscommunications to be a source of amusement. May we find understanding and love as we all seek to communicate our needs. Have a beautiful day!