Sometimes it seems like I learn all my parenting lessons from kids in the back seat.
This morning, after we dropped off Sam and Lily, I heard Rory determinedly repeating to Wyatt in the back seat what sounded like “FPLIDT, Wyatt, FPLIDT!”
“What?” Wyatt was asking. “What do you want me to do?”
This went on for some minutes, and I thought I heard Rory getting frustrated. She has a small speech difficulty, and any double consonants really get her, so I turned off the radio and tried to help. “What do you want Wyatt to do, honey?” “FLIPTH! FLIPCT! FPLIDT!”
I didn’t get it. No, not hit, not spit…I had nothing. “Try a different word, Rory! What does he need to do that? How does he do it? We just don’t understand!” I was worried. For one thing, a meltdown because we can’t understand her renders her even more incoherent, and becomes this hopeless vicious circle–not what I need in the morning. For another, I hate for her to feel like I can’t understand! After all the trouble getting her English solid, and all the moments we’ve had over working through words and phrases together–I really worry about this.
And then I looked in the rear view mirror. And she met my eyes, and ducked her face away, then peeked back up to see if I was still looking…and she was grinning.
She was messing with Wyatt, that girl. And now, just a little, messing with me.
If you’re Rory–supremely confident, fierce and your own independent self–you can take that speech impediment, and you can just make that sucker work for you. And sometimes your mom just needs to let you be you.