Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Meaning of Meaningless Conversations

"Does Ms. B still need a new pencil sharpener?" I asked Jake as we walked into school.

"No, maybe. We have two pencil sharpeners in the room," he answered. "There's one that plugs in and then there's the, you know, school one."

"I was just wondering if anybody had brought in a new pencil sharpener because I read on Ms. B's website she'd like a new one."

"Well the one is pretty good and then the other one, like with a, um, what's that thing?"

"Crank?" I offer.

"Yeah, crank, well it's good if you want to sharpen colored pencils but not good for regular pencils."

"Oh so you use the electric one for regular pencils and use the crank one, the school's, for colored pencils. Did your pencil bag come with a sharpener this year?"

"Yeah and sometimes I just use that one but not for colored pencils, just regular ones."

"Well that's handy to have one at your desk in case the line is long at the pencil sharpener."

"Oh yeah."

Meaningless conversation filled with meaning. Here's my theory on conversations with kids: keep 'em talking. If Jake wants to talk about pencil sharpeners today maybe he will want to talk about peer pressure tomorrow. I figure if he is comfortable talking and he knows I'm listening then I'll hear more and miss less.

Maybe I'm a little sensitive about conversations with my kids. Maybe it's because I have one child for whom conversation flows and another child for whom conversation drips. I don't take words lightly.

So if Jake wants to tell me scene by scene the latest episode of Star Wars The Clone Wars I'll listen. Even when there seems to be no point at all, there is.


  1. "Meaningless conversation filled with meaning. Here's my theory on conversations with kids: keep 'em talking."

    I couldn't agree more. Thanks for another great post.

  2. Hey that conversation was deep about those sharpeners! He's definitely got a system.

  3. Love that Jake! Wish I could have him for a week! I totally agree with that, talk about what ever they want. And play with them even if you dont want to play mario kart and it makes you dizzy! The other day Neilson really wanted me to play tennis with him. OK I said, then we took our positions. He serves and the ball passes me, was not even close to where I was standing, like there is no way I could have got to that ball. He says, "Mom, are you very good?" LOL! I said I'm okay but I was expecting the ball to actually come near me! This was real tennis not wii fyi