It’s that time of year again. Warmer weather. I was in my back yard pulling weeds and once again got to hear my neighbor interact with her kids. As I quietly pulled my weeds, I began to wonder if she had any idea what she sounded like. Here are some observations, enhanced by what I remember from last year, and it doesn’t appear much has changed.
Tone of Voice
My neighbor has a special tone of voice that she uses with her kids. It is frustrated and bordering on whiny. I know she has another voice because I have heard her use it after the phone rings, or while hanging out with friends on Saturday nights. Either her kids are constantly annoying, or she is in the habit of speaking to them as if they are.
Choice of Words
Nearly everything she says to her children is a command. “Be quiet.” “Eat your lunch.” “We need to go.” “Put your shoes on.” I’m not saying she shouldn’t say these things, but I don’t hear her simply talk to them, or respond to them, or ask a question not related to the behavior she is seeking or correcting.
Based on the their names, which I won’t use, even though I really like them, she has a boy and a girl, and maybe a pumpkin. The pumpkin occasionally delights her, though she can switch back to the annoyed voice in no time at all to speak to another child.
I don’t know how old the children are. I don’t hear their voices. I am pretty sure they aren’t teenagers yet. Probably preschool-ish. I wonder how she will communicate with them when she needs to listen.
It probably isn’t fair that I keep quiet and then go inside and blog about her. She sounds fairly young and lives in an apartment and I don’t hear a daddy’s voice on Saturdays. The kids are fed and clothed and taken places. I just wish there were pleasant interactions and a little more enjoyment of parenting.
I wouldn’t mind overhearing that on a Saturday.