The point is. The kid hears what I say, even when she is studiously ignoring it. Both of my girls hear what I say all day long.
Yesterday Miss showed me something different about her capacity to hear me. She showed me that she really listens and internalizes the positive things that I say to her. Of course I've always known that she does, and this isn't really a grand epiphany. Obviously a toddler/preschooler internalizes what she hears and sees from her parents all the time. But yesterday I had a moment when I saw just how important it is to tell my girls I love them a hundred times a day. To tell them how beautiful and smart and good and kind and strong they are. I tell them these things constantly, and now I have been reinforced. Yesterday Miss repeatedly stated, "My Mommy wubs me" and did this adorable patting of her chest with both hands. She did the same with "My Daddy wubs me." I know, I've already posted here about the little love fest we've been having around here lately, but this is different. As amazing and swoon-worthy as it is to hear my two-year-old repeatedly saying "I wub you Momma" and many other variations on that statement, it was even more rewarding to hear her saying in such a heartfelt way in her tiny little voice, "My Mommy, she wubs me." And just as good, when we were singing a song about her eyes she said, "My eyes are pwetty." Yes. Cha-ching!
Hearing this from my older girl just thrills me and I hope to hear lots more of it from her and similar things from her sister. I know there will be days when the "I love you Moms" won't be so forthcoming, but as long as my girls know how much their Old Mom "wubs" them, we'll be okay. They might curse me someday for any number of imagined tortures. But deep down they'll know, if I say something like "You-are-not-going-out-of-the-house-wearing-that-studded-leather-biker-jacket-I-don't-care-if-you-bought-it-with-your-own-money," I'm saying it out of love and a desire to not have my darling daughter look like a Hell’s Angels groupie (and in case you're curious, yes, my Mom said something almost exactly like that to me 20-ish years ago). Hopefully somehow they'll remember that things like curfews, and sleepovers not permitted because the other kid's parents are sketchy, and "don't forget to floss" nagging are all coming from the place within a Momma where every hope and dream for nothing but the very best for her children resides.
And if my girls remember that their Momma and Daddy told them every day that they are beautiful and smart and funny and good and kind and strong, maybe it won't sting so much if other kids sometimes tease or tell them otherwise. Maybe (please oh please) they won't really care if the boy they kind of like doesn't return the sentiment. Hopefully, when they make mistakes or experience failures, they will not be defined by them. Hopefully they will be confident and kind and strong. Maybe it all starts with "My eyes are pwetty." Yes. They listen.