Sunday, February 28, 2010

You're Beautiful, It's True...

Recently, each time we pass someone; neighbors, burly maintenance men, teen-aged girls going home from the bus, H has one phrase for them. 'You're Beautiful!' The reaction has been fairly universal; the recipient of the compliment smiles and says thank you. That should be a source of pride for me, right?

So, why, after the second or third week of this have I started telling H, 'You know, you don't have to say that to everyone.' Perhaps it's because he's said it to the same neighbor about 400 times now. Or that sometimes, there's a look of confusion before the comprehension of what he said clicks in, or just that I don't want to have the weird kid who gushes compliments to strangers...

When I broached the subject with him, saying that maybe he doesn't have to say that every time we pass someone, he countered with; 'But everyone always says thank you.' You're right, they do. And, maybe, it's the only time somebody will have someone else say that to them, and maybe he really is able to see the beauty in everyone.

What is wrong with me that after four years of drilling into his head to use kind words, I'm suddenly trying to add caveats to the rules? I have to tell you, the first couple times it was sweet, but now it just feels awkward.

Yet another parenting moment when you just have to get over the way you feel about something, because in the end, he really is just saying something nice. Isn't that what I've been asking him to do all along?

4 comments:

Amy, Bryan and Zoey said...

Preschoolers are so awesome. I guess...it could be worse? He could be telling people they're ugly, or they smell funny?? ;-) I know what you mean, though. I have always encouraged Zoey to ask questions when she doesn't understand something, but she is on a constant 'what?' kick now, no matter what comes out of my mouth, and I find myself yelling at her to 'PUT YOUR LISTENING EARS ON!'

Ahhh, motherhood.

Amy, Bryan and Zoey said...

P.S. And I love your new blog background. Going to go check out that website...

That Girl said...

I love that H does this! That said, I can see where you are coming from. Does he say it because he means it or does he say it because people say thank you and respond to him. Maybe that's the angle to take with him...this from a mom who can't get her child to speak up when talking to adults! So from my perspective it's especially awesome.

Sally HP said...

@That Girl, I think that's exactly what it is. After he's said it 1.000 times it no longer feels genuine to me, so I'm trying to make him understand the difference...but I think it's just too early.