"It's my turn to talk."
"I was talking first."
"You interrupted me."
"I thought you were done talking."
"I just took a breath."
Lately, Lilly, who has a large vocabulary and generally communicates quite effectively, has been following me around and with her hands on her hips announces: "I got something to say." Then, she starts talking so fast and waving her hands. And her little monologue is completely lost to me. I feel like Marlin in Finding Nemo staring at the little sea turtle, "You're very cute but I can't understand a word you're saying."
Unfortunately, the older kids probably feel like I miss so much of what they're saying too. It seems like they always want to talk to me when I'm cooking dinner and the baby is crying and the phone rings.
To try to combat this we have attempted to have "conversations" at the dinner table and on Sunday evening each child gets to come into our bedroom for a private interview. This is our chance to go over the week--their behavior, school work, goals and chores but it also allows us some time to listen to them. We sometimes have to fight the natural tendency to turn these times into lectures. But when we just listen, really listen, we generally learn some fascinating things about our children. And boy, they all have something to say.