Monday, July 27, 2009

Little Ears Hear Everything

Peanut’s the best eavesdropper you’ve ever seen. She can be engaged in a game of her own, talking to herself or her toys the entire time, and still hear everything adults are saying in the next room. I have a pretty good filter for String Bean. I remember being four years old, so I figure she’ll remember the stuff she experiences now, and I should be careful not to say things around her that I don’t want her to know or share. But I didn’t realize I needed to be so careful around my two-year-old. My sister and I have been caught off guard by Peanut, gossiping about family stuff or friend drama, while we knew she was busy playing loud and hard in the other room, only to have her show up moments later, asking questions about our conversation topic.

I’ve been working on some short stories lately, and the other day, while String Bean was at preschool, I was reading one out loud as I proofread it. Peanut was busily playing with her Tinkerbell dolls, making up stories and using fairy voices as they chatted with each other and flew from room to room. Then she came into the kitchen and started asking me questions about a girl, her sister, their mother, a baby, and it took me several minutes to figure out that, even with her nonstop chatter, she had been listening to my story aloud and was asking me questions about my characters.

So, for family and close friends, the next time you find yourself in the company of Peanut, be aware of what you’re saying. Even if she’s screaming and jumping around in the next room, she’s likely hearing every word.

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