Thursday, 3 April 2014

Special Conversations

a conversation is so much more than words

Mum taught me, that there are times, when you might need to say something important to someone, and you really need them to listen, that you should always choose your time well.

Sales is the same. You really need to learn when to ask for the sale; to read the other persons body language, ask the right questions, make sure you have all the information you need and then choose the right time to ask for the sale to be agreed to.

An ex boyfriend would often say 'we need to talk' and my heart would drop. It would be a deep'n'meanginful over our relationship, the one he was really happy to be in, but wanted to stop it being as serious as it was (I soon discovered this was his 'thing' as soon as relationship got serious, he bailed, so after a few 'we need to talk' talks, we agreed it just wasn't working. PHEW!)

Funnily enough tho, Mum used to say 'We need to talk. Please come over when you can' now she emails it 'I need to talk to you about something. Please call me'

We all rush around, we're on laptops, iPhones, Facebook, Twitter etc, so having an actual conversation about some thing that's important and demands attention, needs to be slotted in amongst all this.

There have been a few times when, and I hate to admit it, G and I have diarised a conversation for a Sunday night at 9pm. There's been no point during the week when he's out the door early/home late/tired/stressed from work.  Sunday nights work best for us cos he's more relaxed, we know we're home, MissM's in bed, there's nothing happening to stop us and so we know we will actually TALK.

It might be simply to catch up on each others week, or sync diaries. Or sitting at the laptop finalizing a holiday, to talk about what ever might be happening in MissM's life that he needs to be caught up on and we can't chat while she's around; it's seldom anything super serious, just stuff that gets missed in a busy week.

We have date nights and talk too, but sometimes a topic needs to be done at home, in your pjs, in a comfortable environment. Other conversations need to be on neutral territory in public so as to reduce the drama (eg: when I told Mum I was planning on leaving my first husband ... I took her to dinner to a popular restaurant that I know would be very busy, and had a good chance of seeing friends there, so she wouldn't make a scene.

G and I have date nights, and our Sunday nights.

MissM and I talk all the time! We always have done, and I hope we always will. I hope she knows she can always talk to me about anything, anything at all - and if not me, that there's a caring adult close by (ok, maybe a Skype away depending on where are living)

Our Special Conversations, the ones where she says 'Mumma, can I ask you something' or 'Mumma, I have a problem' or the like are precious.

Over the past few years, it's developed that the bottom of the staircase at home is our Special Place for these conversations. Bit like Pooh Bear's Thinking Spot. Over the past few weeks, it's become the car on the way to school (seldom on the way home). Occassionally, she'll start a deep'n'meaningful conversation just as we're about to the turn the lights off at night (Mum was so right about picking the right time to talk) and so we'll snuggle up and chat. G's been doing bed time with her lately, so he's the one to get the chats at night.

Yesterdays Special Conversation in the car on the way to school went something like this.

MissM - Mumma, can I tell you something? (and she turns the radio off) MissP has been annoying me non stop to give her one of the erasers I took from your drawer. I don't want to give it to her but she just keeps nagging me.
Me - oh well, now you know what it's like to be nagged at when you've spoken.
MissM -what do you mean?
Me - you know, when you nag me for something and I say no, and you go on and on and on and I say, no matter how much nagging you make, I'm not changing my mind, but I will get cross so you might as well stop now.
MissM - oh yeah, right. Is THAT what I do?
Me - so what did you say when MissP kept going on about the eraser?
MissM - I just kept saying no. MrP (MissM's teacher) doesn't allow us to share stationary and she knows it. She said mine was better than her's and she offfered me €2 then €5 so I just said yes.
Me - you gave in?
MissM - no. I just said yes to make her stop nagging me.
Me - so you did give in. She nagged. You said no. She nagged you more. You said yes. She stopped nagging. Do I ever give in when you nag me?
MissM - sometimes, but not often.
Me - do I?
MissM - (laughing) no. You never change your mind when I nag you, guess that's why I've stopped. Did you notice I've stopped?
Me - Sort of. Why did you say yes?
MissM - cos she just wouldn't stop annoying me so I said yes and she was happy and quiet.
Me - (by this stage I couldn't help but roar with laughter)
MissM - oh! I'm not actually giving her the eraser. I just wanted her to be quiet. Did you think I'm giving it to her?
Me - (laughing so hard now I can hardly talk) but she's expecting it, isn't she?
MissM - probably, but i'll just tell her you said no and I'm off the hook.

We both roared with laughter.

Gotta love that kinda thinking from a (nearly) 10 year old.

Last weeks Special Conversation happened after school on Friday. We usually have normal chit-chat on the way home, but not that day.

MissM had that look on her face as she walked out of the classroom Friday afternoon - not the happy TGIF look, but the quick-get-me-out-of-here-look.

By the time we got to the car, she was crying big tears and leaned in close for a hug. I knew not to start the engine, that something was amiss and it was best to let it all happen now than postpone the conversation.

Her two friends MissAn and MissAl were getting together at MissAl's place without her and had been talking about it all day.

I tried to ascertain what was upsetting her - the fact she was left out of the afternoons get together, or they were talking about it in front of her.

Seems the latter bothered her more.

Mumma, it's so rude to talk about things in front of people who are not involved, you always tell me that and they did it and it really hurt my feelings.

WOW - so she does listen.

Me - well maybe they didn't realise they were doing it, or that it would hurt your feelings. They are both good friends of yours and you don't always have to hang out together. It's nice sometimes to just be 2 of you, and sometimes it's fun to be 3.

MissM  - I don't really care that I'm not invited today, but MissAl has never had me to her house; but they shouldn't have talked about it.

Me - MissAn is coming to us next Friday - just the two of you ......

MissM (interrupting me) that's not the point. The point is I won't  talk about it and hurt MissAl's feelings cos she's not coming.

We were still hugging in the car, the street emptied of mummy-cars and she continues talking. It became a conversation about values, morals and principles (tho not as grown up as that, but close).

MissM gets it - she gets compassion, and empathy, she understands what it's like to be the new kid and be welcoming and friendly, she is inclusive, she's aware of the right-thing-to-do or say, and being a kid stuffs it up every so often, but most of the time, she's very aware.

She was OK not be included, she just didn't want to know about it.

Aren't we all like that, at any age?

I am going to start paying way more attention to these Special Conversations. They may or may not end up here, but I will write them down for me, and maybe one day for her to read when she's older.

Special Conversations between us may not happen forever - she'll have a best friend, a partner, husband and she'll have Special Conversations with them. It's only natural. But for now, I am so enjoying being the one she has them with.

With friendship

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