Like, a lot.
I don't know how or when this exactly happened, but I'm having conversations with my kids all the time. And I understand what they are saying. They speak in full (kind of) sentences. There are some parts of this new world of communicating that have not been my favorite.
"I do it." The depths of their independence seem to come through when I'm in a hurry, someone else is in danger, someone else needs my immediate attention or when it's just plain inconvenient for "I do it" to be happening at that moment.
"_______________ took my _____________!"
"_________________ hit me! Oh boy. The tattling and tears. My mom got us a referee jersey the Christmas before everyone was born as a joke. I'm going to start wearing it. No joke.
"I need that!" This is usually said right after my only pair of dying glasses are swiped off my face while being bent in unnatural ways. Or my phone is snagged from the counter. Or the spatula I was using to flip pancakes is making it's way to the bedroom in the hands of a quick footed culprit.
But (there's always a but) this new world of communicating is so. much. fun.
"I do it." My children are learning (and wanting!) to be independent. I try to focus on this more than the inconvenience or extra work "I do it" might be causing.
While it's true I hear cries of injustice, tattling, tantrums caused by siblings and general weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, I also see this: (a lot)
This scene is usually filled with "hi's" and giggles and sometimes syllables and sounds I don't recognize, but they are all cracking up and enjoying their time stuffed in a bookcase together.
"Play mommy?" Man do I love this one. How many years do I have until mommy isn't their favorite person to play with? (Or even when "mommy" becomes "mom?") Oye, my heart just held back some tears.
Loved playing hide and seek with them the other day. They were totally content with finding their tired, pregnant mom under the same blanket in the same chair 18 times in a row.
They all love a good game of being tickled. Or as Gabe calls it, "I'm ticklish!" Which is my cue to relentlessly tickle his tiny ribs until he rolls away in a fit of laughter and exhaustion.
I also hear my daughter say things like, "be right back!" as she wheels her little stroller in a circle around the play room. Or get an invitation to her tea party, "Tea party momma? Grandpa. Fire station. Baby. Food." (The tea party will be taking place at the fire station with grandpa, her baby doll and the stack of play food she has on her plate at the moment.)
I hear Christian say (nearly every time, the little heartbreaker) "hi mommy!" whenever I come into a room. Even if I was just there 30 seconds ago, he says it like he hasn't seen me in weeks and is so happy I'm back. He is also my biggest secret requester. He'll come over and say, "secret mommy?" while putting his face right up to my cheek. Which mean I need to whisper something in his ear that involves doing something fun, like going outside or having pizza for dinner.
Does stronger communication skills mean more craziness and tears? (Ok, there's always been tears, now there are just words and syllables between the sobs.) Yes. It does. But it also brings a lot more good times.
Or as Christian said at the end of a Saturday spent hanging out with daddy, "fun day."
I couldn't have said it better myself.