Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Communication 101

Picture this:
I'm laying on the swing on our deck, reading a book on a lazy Sunday evening.
(Are you jealous?)
My husband walks onto the deck looking a bit sheepish and says, "I'm not sure how to say this."
To which I reply, "Use words." (I know. I'm brilliant.)
So, he smiles and says, "Wouldn't it be fun to clean the utility room?" and I - in a moment of pure honesty - say, "Uh, NO."

Well, what would you have said???

The look on Brian's face told me that wasn't the answer for which he'd been hoping. So I decided to give him a little communication lesson. I explained to him the question he asked me was not equivalent to the thing he really wanted to know. Because - really - why would he want to know if I thought it would be fun to clean the utility room? When I'm relaxing and obviously fully engaged in the book I'm reading devouring? What could be more fun than that???

My dear husband wasn't getting it so I tried to make it as clear as possible. I said, "The question you meant to ask would have sounded a little more like this: 'I'm going to go downstairs and clean up the utility room. Will you help me?' You simply asked the wrong question."
So Brian puffed up his chest and said, "I'm going to go downstairs and clean up the utility room. Will you help me?" What could I do now? So I sat up, put my book down, and said, "OK."

The two of us made great progress on cleaning that room. And half way through it - as I was reading a poem I'd found which Elizabeth wrote when she was about 7 years old, and as I chuckled at a picture of Matthew making a silly face at about age 2 - I said to my darling husband, "You were right. This is fun!"
Later, I smothered Brian with kisses as I told him how much fun I had cleaning the utility room with him. But I do hope he was paying attention in class, so he might learn how to ask the right questions. *wink*



mamajil said...

You are so right...it is so important to ask the right questions :) I enjoyed your post!! (as always!!)

Amanda said...

Great reminder!! :)

Irritable Mother said...

Jilma - Yes, it is. If you want the right answers! ;-)

Amanda - I'm glad you were reminded of a good thing. Thanks for stopping by!

Nicky said...

Snap! That was funny! Steven and I do have those 'moments'. God bless x