We can’t wait for our tiny babies to start talking and then once they do, the words that come out are never what we imagined them to be. They are cuter, said without any shades of secret meaning and paired with facial expressions so pure that the greatest artist would be challenged to recreate them.
Then it comes…”Mom, shut up. Shut up your mouth, mom.”
And then I realized that shutting up my mouth was suddenly the last thing I seemed to be able to do. It hung open so wide a steam-roller could’ve fit in there and had extra room to turn around. It was the first time anything like this had happened and I was awestruck.
I scolded my boy for being rude.
The second time he said it, just a few days later, I realized he was right. I needed to shut up.
I was angry and yelling for no good reason.
It took a two-year old to show me that. It humbled me.
As adults, the reasons we tell people to “shut-up” are long and varied. We could not like what they have to say, or we may just not be in the mood to hear it. We could be playfully joking, hiding within it that 25% percent of truth that every joke or sarcasm seems to contain.
But with my two-year old, there was none of this. His eyes were clear and unblinking and as I searched his face for meaning that day, I found it. I needed to shut-up.