Why Don't We Say What We Mean?

Clunk.  I didn't even need to see it to know that a spoon had hit the bucket of "baby puffs" and knocked it to the floor.  I did need to see it to know that it had been Kaia's spoon.  She and a friend had been waving their spoons at each other while they "waited" for breakfast.  Happily, the lid stayed on the baby's snack. 

I said, "Kaia, would you pick that up?"  I completely expected her to hop down and pick it up.  She had, after all, knocked it over.  Instead, she thought about it and said, ever so sweetly, "No, Mom."  I gave her a look.  You know...one of "those" looks.  She was soon picking up the bucket. 

As I glanced sideways at Jon he pointed out that I had asked.  He also acknowledged that it's part of our culture to ask even though we expect something to happen. 

I've been thinking about this all day long.  On the one hand, I do want our kids to grow up and be well-adjusted and ready for life in "our culture."  On the other hand, I actually do want to say exactly what I mean.  I usually try to only ask when I am happy with whatever possible answer my kids could come up with.  In fact, when I taught school, I made sure that I only gave choices when I was happy with either outcome. 

But now I am wondering which is the better option.  I'm not sure I have an answer.

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