Our oldest son (eight years) has always been a character. In fact, we often say that he has an “excess of personality” (a phrase used by John Hammond to describe Ian Malcolm in the movie Jurassic Park). His latest character quirk is the “Recap”.
He loves to tell and retell us about scenes in movies and television shows, conversations with friends, and books. Even if I’m sitting right next to him, watching the same show, he will invariably turn to me and repeat a snippet that he finds particularly entertaining. I try to cut him off in mid-stream and point out that I’m sitting right there, watching the same thing, but it doesn’t work. He continues his little recap until he’s satisfied that I’m as amused by it as he is. Sometimes his material is fresh and interesting, but more often than not it’s repetitive and hum drum. (Do I really care what the blue Power Ranger said to the pink Power Ranger? Or what Spencer said to Ali at lunch?).
I remember when I was young and tried to engage my parents in conversation. Neither of them were very good listeners. My feelings were sometimes hurt if they blew me off. Now, as a mom, I’m compelled to listen to his tidbits so as not to hurt his feelings and wreak havoc on his self-esteem. It’s the sheer volume of story telling that has me ruffled! There’s got to be a limit. When he’s “out in the real world” he’ll need to understand that moderation is the key. Here’s what I think… I’ll do my best to listen to fresh material and not be guilt-ridden when I stop him from being repetitive. I’ll consider it a life’s lesson in social graces.