Conversation is a art. It's a constant work in progress at our house, and one that never disappoints.
Nathan: "Mom, my toys are old, I think I need some new ones."
Lori: "You just got a lot of new ones for Christmas and Hannukah."
Nathan: "I know but they're old. I decided I can donate the old ones, to make room for the new ones."
Lori: "Toys cost a lot of money Nate, we are not buying you ALL new toys."
Nathan: "But mom, I have money."
(Side note: The money he's referring to is a cash register filled with about 50 bucks he's been secretly stashing away out of Doug's wallet.)
Lori: "Nate, let's talk about this when I get out of the shower." (Just so you know, it was 6AM.)
I knew I needed to take a different approach with this one, and my creative conversation skills don't kick in until 6:30AM. Then I remembered the Chore Chart in his bedroom. We haven't used it yet, but this seemed like a prime opportunity. I explained how if he did the chores everyday, then at the end of the week he would earn some money to buy a toy. Day one done, he finished his first set of chores, and of course he announced. "OK let's go buy my toy". Well we apparently have some work do explaining days vs. weeks, but it's a step in the right direction.
The second memorable conversation was in regards to Valentine's Day. I don't know if it's because it's the one day out of the year where it's acceptable to mix red and pink, or just the anticipation for an unexpected romantic gesture, but I'm a total sucker for February 14th. Because of the recent stomach flu epidemic to hit our household I knew this year's V-day might be a little disappointing so I figured maybe I should remind Doug.
Lori: "Doug, REMEMBER....Valentines Day is this coming Sunday!"
Doug: (Looking at me like....of course.) "Yah, I know."
Lori: "You should really do something romantic this year."
Doug: (He rolled his eyes. He denies that, but I'm pretty sure he did.)
Lori: (I could see he needed more help.) "Just remember. We're really lucky to have each other. We shouldn't take that for granted."
Doug: "OK, what do you want to do?"
Lori: "I don't know, just surprise me....with something romantic."
Doug: (Blank stare)
Lori: "If you need help, (clearly he does) just Google it. "
The art of conversation. You have to speak their language. Something they can relate too. Tonight is Valentine's Eve, and Doug is upstairs with the next round of the stomach flu. Either that or he hasn't "Googled it yet". (Clearly more work do with him as well.)