You know what the best thing is to keep your ego in check?
There’s nothing quite like the feeling when your five year old says, “You’re so lucky, Mummy. I have to stay in the bath for ages and ages to get wrinkles on my skin, but you have them all the time!”
Or when you’re talking to your mother on speaker-phone and your son announces, “If I talk too much, Mummy just tells me to shut up.”
The thing about listening to children talk is that they say what’s on their mind. All the time. Even when it doesn’t make sense
My sister called the other day to ask Big Brother if he’d like to go with her to the art gallery. Big Brother responded, “That would be lovely! And do you know what I had for breakfast today? Yoghurt!”
But it’s not all accidental insults and non-linear conversations. I was discussing school with Big Brother the other day when the conversation took a turn for the complimentary.
BB: What happens when I finish grade 12? Is there another school?
Me: If you’d like to, you can go on to University and learn something else.
BB: When I grow up, I’m going to go to every school in the whole entire world so I can be as clever as you.
If you ask me, he’s pretty clever already. Or, in his own words, “I may only have a little brain, but I have big ideas.”
One of his big ideas is that he’s going to be an artist when he grows up. A sculptor, to be exact.
“When I grow up, I’m going to be an artist,” he said. “And I’m going to make sculptures and have my own art gallery and studio, just like Auntie Jak.”
“That sounds great,” I said.
“Will you help me set up my gallery, Mummy?”
“Sure. I don’t know much about art galleries, but I’ll help you however I can.”
“Great,” he said. Then he thought a minute and said, “Do you want to be an artist when you grow up, too?”
I smiled. “Actually, I’m already a type of artist. I’m a writer.”
His face lit up like it was Christmas. “Really?”
“Yep.” I admit it, I was thrilled he was so excited to have a writer for a mother.
“Then you can write all the signs for the art gallery!”
Like I said, there’s nothing better to keep your ego in check than kids.
Do your kids give you back-handed compliments?