I got another piece of Calvin Gyan from Richa this morning. She had done some messy job that I was mad about. Really really mad! It took about 15-20 minutes of letting her know how mad I was with her..and reminding her of her mistake. Right! maybe too much for a 4 year old, but, I needed to get my point across that it wasn’t acceptable.
She had tried to change the topic. She agreed to brush her teeth without any tantrums. She even put the paste on the brush and started to brush herself. When I offered to brush her..she insisted that she wants to do it herself. Usually, when I am not sending Richa to school, I let her do things herself. So this morning, I did let her brush herself.
She did really well. She managed to touch every teeth carefully inside and out. Brushed her tongue with amazing skill..I was happy for a moment. I complimented her and then went on again to remind her of the mess she had created…and how bad it was and how mad I was….
As I spoke to her looking at her in the mirror, she was watching me too, “Quietly”.
After listening to me for a while…when I finally shut my mouth, continuing to watch me in the mirror of the bathroom she said..
“Mama, you know why I am not talking?”
“Why?”, I asked.
“Because, I don’t want to use bad words…”, she continued.
“Mama, you know when we are mad, we talk bad words!”
It almost felt like my face had changed a few shades of colors. I just stood speechless, staring at my daughter not sure what to tell her. As happy as I was with the choice she had made, it reminded me of this strip from Calvin and Hobbes.
I knew, I couldn’t start to fight with her, saying I hadn’t used any bad/mean words ( well not exactly fight! but it could become so, by Richa’s definition )…, but, any word I now spoke would have to be better than the ones she had spoken. She had set a new standard.
As I struggled to find better words, to surpass the level that she had just set, I relented and continued to hear her out…instead! Her pearls of wisdom!
“Mama…you have to talk quietly..if we talk loud we talk bad words. You have a choice!” she said.