Hey. You are Mixing Your Messages. You know like when I’ve done something that makes you mad? Like drawing in a book? Or sitting on my sister? Or eating the apple pie before dinner? And you get your body real low to look me right in the face. And you turn my shoulders so I have to look at you while you are angry with me. And sometimes I don’t even know why you are angry. I know Markers Are For Paper! but a book is paper and I needed to draw a lizard on that rock in the sunshine. And I know Your Sister Is Smaller Than You! but I am smaller than you and I can ride on your back like a horsie and she likes the horsie too. And I know now that The Pie Is For After Dinner! but I was hungry and I don’t know when dinner is coming anyway.
And then you say, Look At Me When I’m Talking To You! but I want to turn my eyes someplace else because I’m embarrassed but I know you will get madder if I don’t just Look At Me When I’m Talking To You! Then you talk and talk and talk and sometimes I get distracted by the cat or my friend or a shadow on the wall or the fly that landed on your ear. Then my eyes go someplace else and you get mad again.
You know those times? The times when you want my Undivided Attention?
Or when Important People come to visit? And you talk and talk and talk, and sometimes I need to tell you about the painting in the kitchen or the boats I saw last weekend or my panties that are on backwards. And you tell me to Wait My Turn or Don’t Interrupt Me When I’m Talking. Or you tell me to say Excuse Me and I do but you don’t stop talking. Or you tell me to say Can I Interrupt but you still don’t stop talking. And when you do give me my turn you have a very heavy breath that tells me I did something Frustrating.
You know those times? The times when you want me to Not Interrupt!
And then when I am in the middle of looking for my lost green butterfly and you say it’s Time For Singing but I don’t want to come because I am doing something important. But you tell me Do It Later so I have to leave the spot where I almost saw her fly over a rock. Then when I am running so hard and fast around the chair and you tell me No Running In The House. Sit Down And Read A Book. and I don’t want to read because of running so fast. Then when I almost build a castle to the ceiling and then you tell me to Clean It Up Because It’s Lunchtime but I’m not done with it yet.
But I have a problem. You want me to look at you, even when you are very angry and I don’t want to look at you. And you want me to wait my turn for talking, even when I have something very important to say. So why don’t you look at me when I’m doing my very important things before you tell me to stop? And why do you get to interrupt what I am doing without waiting until I’m done?
Maybe when I am looking for my lost green butterfly when it is really singing time, you could let me keep looking, or you could ask me what I’m doing before you tell me that I have to come and sing. You could come and look with me or maybe singing time could be after looking for my butterfly time. Because no one told my butterfly it was singing time and she was almost going to fly over the rock. Or maybe when I am running so fast around the chair and you don’t want me to run in the house you can tell me to run outside so I can still keep running so fast. Or maybe when my castle is almost as tall as the ceiling, you could help me save it for after lunch so I can build it later.
If you don’t want to be interrupted don’t interrupt me,
and if you have to, then help protect my important things until I can use them again.
It might make things a little more clear.