Friday, March 11, 2011

A Bit of Empathy

Isn't it funny that within days of starting this blog, I lost my voice.  That is, I have horrible laryngitis. It's a bit difficult to teach, let alone manage, forty twelve year-olds when you can't speak, so today I arranged for a substitute teacher.  Although I'm grateful for the opportunity, I hate taking the day off! I hate carefully planning what the class will do in my absence and coming back to a mountain of ungraded papers. And a messy room. And a note that says, "thanks for the lesson plan --we ended doing such and such instead".

Most of all though, I am frustrated that I can't fully communicate with my son right now.  He keeps giving me this, "why won't you talk to me?" look and I miss our bonding.  Beyond that, in our house there is a lot of singing going on. We have a diaper change song, a bath song, a stroller walk song, a car trip song, a specific bedtime lullaby, and even a song that seems to work to help Tig calm down when he is upset. Don't get me wrong, the Von Trapps we are not. I can barely carry a tune. Its just that Bri and I find that Tig is happier with transitions when he has a cue to let him know what's about to go down. So no talking, reading aloud, or singing for me right now.  Communication with the boy has centered around funny faces, tickles, and smiles.

This whole experience has got me thinking about how frustrating being a baby could be. Tig has always been able to make noise, of course. At birth he shrieked for 90 minutes straight before we could calm him down.  But I think about how hard it must be to have very definite opinions as spirited babies do, and not have the vocabulary to articulate said opinions.  What would he really like to tell me right now? What would my spirited newborn have wanted me to know? I don't know these answers but I've gained perspective.

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