I am the queen of speaking before I listen fully. In my kingdom, the introverted queen is completely spent by the time I return to the palace. I have give and listened to far too many words each day and I am all out. This produces impatience. Meanwhile on the other side of the kingdom there is a small boy who will grow to be king. He loves telling short stories with as many words as his 4 yo brain can muster…especially when he is being disciplined.
Sometimes, our kingdoms collide…
The other day I took the children to the play ground. After driving all the way there, the 2 year old explains she has to go potty…well of course she does. Now that we’re no where near a potty. After I’d managed to get all 3 children (did I mention they are all under 5 years old?) Dressed out of the house, to the Laundromat (our washer is broken) and now to the play ground… I now have to find a bathroom that all three of us can squeeze into before we see the Olivian River…
Thankfully, the heavens opened women doing yard work at a nearby church let us in.
Whew! Crisis averted. We headed to the play ground. My 4 yo asked for permission to do something. I told him no. He did it any way. The consequence was that he had a delayed start to his time at the playground. After 5 minutes, I walked back over to where he was sitting.
And discovered a lovely drawing on the passenger window…in crayon.
I was already frazzled, not the least bit peaceful or ready for a 300 word dissertation on why the window was colored with yellow crayon. I scolded him for playing. He immediately burst into tears. “But mommy, that was for you”.
I looked closer and noticed a few things:
- The drawing was made with “window crayon” –for the purpose of writing on the windows. No harm. No foul.
- I saw: Seth ❤ Mom. He was working on “making his mistake right” –by writing an apology note. (ok, yes it was on the window, but he’s 4…)
- I gave an answer before listening.
When I realized how I missed his heart, I felt terrible and asked for his forgiveness and a do-over. I humbly accepted and we ran the entire scene again–with mommy listening, first. A week or two later, the note is still in the same place and he grins every time he sees it.
I’m doing better. I’m still weary when I return to the palace, but I’m working on listening–being slower to give an answer. And the boy… well he still uses a ton of words to tell a story. .But…that’s another post all together!
Listen well friends!
How about you? Do you ever give an answer without listening?