Sunday, June 10, 2012

An Interview with Bella & Grady

Every few weeks I interview my kiddos, and I've been doing this since they've been able to talk. I ask them fun things about themselves, but also questions about my parenting, and challenges they may be facing. I usually ask the questions about me in third person, on purpose, because I have found that they answer them more honestly when they aren't directing the answers at me.

I would encourage any parent to try this. Some of the answers can be humorous or painful, but either way it's a step toward getting to know these little lives just a little better. It can only benefit my relationship with them, when I know who they are. It's also so important to know what they are struggling with, and be available to talk about it with them. It's opening doors of dialogue now, while they are small, so that when their issues are big, they know that talking with me is safe, and that I truly do want to know what is going on in their lives.

So here we go!



Bella, 5 years old.

Me: Hey Bella, wanna do an interview?
Bella: Sure.
M: Alrighty, what's your favorite color?
B: Pink
M: What's your favorite thing to eat for dinner?
B: Pizza. But just with cheese. Nothing else on it.
M: What's your favorite dessert?
B: Chocolate covered frozen bananas.
M: What is your favorite kind of animal?
B: I'll give you three clues. It has spots, it's really fast, but it can't run for a long time.
M: A cheetah?
B: Yep.
M: What are some things you like about your mama?
B: She's fun and she sings a lot.
M: What are some things that you like to do with your mama?
B: Get our nails painted and go out to lunch together.
M: What are some things that you like about your daddy?
B: He's funny and makes me laugh.
M: What are some things that you like to do with daddy?
B: I like when he reads books to me.
M: What's your favorite book that daddy reads to you?
B: Library books that I get to pick out.
M: What are some things that you're afraid of?
B: Being alone in the deep end, or when I have to do something by myself.
M: What do you like about having a brother and sister?
B: Nothing. I wish I was on my own.
M: Why?
B: Because they do stuff that I don't want them to do.
M: Like what?
B: Like, they take my stuff and dump it on the floor. And take my stuff when I'm playing with it.
M: Hmm. Would you like to have some time every now and then to play by yourself?
B: Yeah. That would work.
M: Is there anything that daddy could do to be a better daddy?
B: He could tell us jokes.
M: Can you think of some things that your mama could do to be a better mama?
B: Sometimes you worry too much about me. I can do a lot by myself, but sometimes you don't think I can do it.
M: Ok, that's good to know. Do you know your mama loves you?
B: Yeah.
M: How do you know that?
B: Because she gives me hugs and kisses, and tells me all the time.
M: Anything else you want to tell me?
B: Maybe we could make brownies together.

Today I learned that my girl is afraid to do things on her own, but she also thinks that I don't think she can do things alone. Ouch.  So now my plan will be to instill more confidence in her, by showing her my confidence in her. Easier said than done, but at least I know some things I can be working on.

I also learned that she may need a little more Mama/Bella time and time to herself as she's growing up.

Alright, on to Grady, age 3.

Me: Hey bud, can I interview you?
Grady: ok.
M: What's your favorite color?
G: Blue and red. And they make purple.
M: So is purple your favorite color?
G: No. Blue and red.
M: What's your favorite thing to eat for dinner?
G: Fish.
M: What's your favorite dessert?
G: Cupcakes and chocolate ice cream.
M: What is your favorite kind of animal?
G: A giraffe.
M: What are some things you like about your mama?
G: She's pretty.
M: What are some things that you like to do with your mama?
G: Play with toys and tickle.
M: What are some things that you like about your daddy?
G: He plays with me.
M: What are some things that you like to do with daddy?
G: Go fishing. And wrestle and play swords.
M: What are some things that you're afraid of?
G: Fire ants.
M: Anythings else?
G: Bears.
M: What do you like about having two sisters?
G: I like to play with them.
M: What do you like to play?
G: Hamsters or Little People.
M: Is there anything that daddy could do to be a better daddy?
G: No.
M: Can you think of some things that your mama could do to be a better mama?
G: Not go to work.
M:  Do you know your mama loves you?
G: Yes
M: How do you know that?
G: I don't know.
M: Anything else you want to tell me?
G: No. Can we go fishing?

So for Grady, I learned that he most wants to be with us, and for Bryan and I to be engaged in what he is doing, whether it is playing or wrestling, or fishing.

Parenting is not easy, but I can say for sure, that it is the most fulfilling "job" that I have known. It is a constant weaving of loving, and giving, and teaching, and training. And knowing my children helps me to love them better, in the way that they need to be loved. And oh, how I love them.








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