On our way to school this morning, I told my son that his beloved Tottenham Hotspurs had been beaten by Manchester United. He asked what the score was, I told him 3-0. I was surprised, he was still smiling. It turns out that he had been joking with a teacher last week and boasting about how Tottenham always win and I guess he was imagining the taunting he was going to get from his teacher.
There was I, feeling cool that we were actually having a footie conversation until I uttered the immortal words, “now Tottenham are out of the League”. He looked at me like I was eating poo. And said, “of course they are NOT out of the League. How could they be out of the League?” What I of course meant to say was that the Champions League cup was out of their reach now. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to!
Note to self: you don’t understand football, you never will understand it. Just continue to nod and smile when son talks to you about it.
Seriously, don’t talk at all. It’s when you start to talk that misunderstandings happen. People hear things that they don’t want to hear and a fight brews. In fact, the best thins is not to express an opinion either and you will be fight free.
Of course your relationship will not grow and you’ll never really get to know each other but at least there will be peace in your home – no squabbles about who left the kitchen cupboard door open again, why the dishes aren’t washed immediately and why treat night is essential ;)- is that just us?
Taking two individuals from two different backgrounds, upbringings and values (even when you share values they are upheld to different degrees) and asking them to live together – is a recipe for disaster. Even my sisters and I who grow up together disagree, how much more some individual from Mars.
Communication can unravel or glue a relationship together. And as people grow in their relationships, it’s vital to learn what to say and what not to say. When to say it is also crucial.
What’s fundamental to the success of the relationship and what you can ignore is essentially the litmus test for what to communicate. I think we can live with loo seats being up and anyway who said that was the right way (ducks and hides)
Some of the ‘discussions’ my husband and haven’t always ended with mutual agreement. In fact sometimes I’m left thinking the issue was a lost. Sometimes the only agreement we can reach is that we both disagree but miraculously the next day we understand each other better and we’ve grown together. And that’s down to communication – because despite it all, we’ve listened to each other.
Whenever a couple tells me they never argue I think naah you simply don’t communicate. Live a little – fight, grow and learn.
I have a friend who wasn’t close to her mum at all. In fact, one would have thought they weren’t related. Their relationship was fraught with fights and misunderstandings. I thought it very odd that she would come and talk to my mum when I wasn’t there. Then I realised, she was searching for this at home and there was a huge vacuum in her life as a result of not being close to her mum. Sadly this vacuum was never filled and they have both simple accepted their relationship for what it is. Fortunately she found other surrogate mums who were there for her, but I’m sure it wasn’t the same.
Conversely, I see my older sister’s relationship with my niece and I sometimes think, is there nothing these two do not talk about? There doesn’t seem to be any boundaries there. My niece can go to her mum and talk about absolutely anything. Makes me wonder what she’s withholding because all children pity their parents like that. Rotfl.
I think it’s great my niece can go to her mum and talk about whatever. Call me a realist, but I don’t think we can use ‘good parenting’ as an insurance policy. It doesn’t guarantee that your children will always make the right choices. But when they are grown and they have their own children, again they will pity their parents and be grateful you were there . They can look back on their childhood knowing that there wasn’t a vacuum. And they will try and do the same for their children.
I recently baked a cake for the christening of a friend’s daughter. As I had hoped, people were making the right noises as they tasted and one person even asked for my card and we had a mini consultation on the spot. Things were going so well until she told me what sort of cake she wanted. She wanted a four letter name spelt out in cake, Without thinking, I blurted out, a little too excitedly, “ooooo is it for your fortieth?” To which her response was to shoot me a drop dead look and say to her husband, she didn’t even say thirtieth”. The cake was for her daughter’s first birthday, Cue the ground opening, digging hole, digging, digging, digging, digging, buried!
In my defence one – most of my friends are turning forty this year; two- I had forgotten that the host was a few years younger than me so her friends were not likely to be turning forty too and THREE – as the design was so elaborate, I just naturally assumed it had to be for a ‘significant’ birthday. I apologised and continued as best as I could with the mini-consultation but I knew this was one cake order I would not be getting. Sigh! The irony of the matter is she actually didn’t look forty, it was just that the cake was elaborate. Truly! I just wasn’t thinking. Sob sob sob sob.
Memories of a similar circumstance when I was a teenager came flooding to my mind after that encounter. I was at a party with friends and for some reason we got on the subject of names we would rather not have. Everyone was reeling off names and I thought I’d join in. I mentioned a name and everyone around me burst out laughing hysterically and pointed to a boy sitting across me. Of course! Of all the names I had to mention as ‘I-would-rather-die-than-have-this-name’, it had to be his. I backtracked with much stuttering and spluttering and finally my brain gave up another option as a ‘suitable’ name. What would you have done? I wanted to die in the dramatic way all teenagers want to die when something embarrassing happens to them. I still recoil when I remember that story and can’t forgive myself at all for falling for such a foolish game. It was the worst night of my life ever! And I vowed never to partake of such a game again. Never ever ever!
And you would think that after such an experience, I would have learnt a grave lesson. Sadly, it would appear I have a sad case of foot in mouth. Luckily, it only strikes every twenty years or so. If something similar ever happens again, I might just have to move to moon!