Sunday, April 27, 2008

Healthy Communication, the Joshua Way

Joshua's pediatrician was right. He really did jump from using single words to full sentences almost as soon as Clare was born. The funny thing was that most of his sentences were phrased as questions. It makes sense, I suppose, since he primarily heard us asking questions of him:
"Did you fall down?"
"Do you want some more to eat?"
"Did you go to the store with Vati today?"
"Did you have a good time?"
He wasn't asking us to answer those questions, of course. Instead he wanted us to ask them of him. "Did you have a good time?" was simply Joshua's way of saying, "You should ask me if I had a good time!"

Although he is much easier to understand now, he still phrases many of his sentences as questions (he'd make a great Jeopardy contestant). We called my grandmother the other day after we had gotten home from Target. He wanted to talk to her, and when I gave him the phone he asked, "Did you buy a crock pot?" I had to explain to my grandmother that the purpose of our Target run was to replace the crock pot that I had broken the day before. "Did you buy a crock pot?" was Joshua-speak for "You should ask me if I just bought a crock pot!"

The more I've thought about it, the more I'm convinced that Joshua's method of communication is pretty healthy, particularly among those of who tend toward passive-aggression. Instead of moping around the house after an especially harrowing day, waiting for Jay to ask what's wrong, I could simply greet him at the door with, "Did you have a crappy day?" Then Jay would know right away to ask, "Hi Mary Beth! Did you have a crappy day?" It sounds like I'm showing concern for him, which is good for this people-pleaser. But it's really a way to get him to ask about me.

And instead of slamming doors and rolling my eyes, waiting for Jay to ask me what's wrong, I can just walk right up to him and say, "Are you really, unbelievably, mind-blowingly angry with me?" And Jay would know right away that the appropriate question to ask is, "Are you really, unbelievably, mind-blowingly angry with me?"

I think I may be exposing too much personal pathology here, but I just wanted to share my ground breaking insight, courtesy of my 2 1/2-year-old son.

6 comments:

martha said...

I love it!

It's projection of actions, not just feelings!

This fixes SO MUCH!! This is PROGRESS!!

Jenny said...

"Hello Daddy. Did you have a good day?"
My three-year-old is an expert at small talk. I am not sure where he got it.

RevErikaG said...

Perhaps he's Yoda-in-training....so very, very cute!

anna said...

ooo I like the Yoda in training....

I think I'll have to steal this communication techinque though knowing my luck when I say "Did you have a crappy day?" The answer will be yes and then I'll have to listen to his crappy day story and then I'll feel so sorry for his day that I'll totally forget about my crappy day until it's that time of the month and then I'll remember that he never asked me about my crappy day and then be poed and he'll have no clue why....dang communication is hard work in a marriage!

Kel Bel said...

I think I am going to employ the Joshua method with the boyfriend and see how that works out...

Orangeblossoms said...

this new method is utter genius. I'll have to try it. BTW G. C. sucks. Good news is that your blog doesn't! (not one single bit.)