Third Person

Sophie at Jakes in Hull

Tonight at bedtime Sophie started narrating everything she was doing in the third person.

She’d been wandering about talking to herself for a while. That’s not unusual at all. But then she walked over toward the couch where we were sitting and we heard what she was saying: “She picked up the water and drank it.” And then she did as she’d described. She continued to narrate her actions. Some of it was a factual account of what she was doing. Some of it was whatever her pretend world of the moment was… going shopping or riding on a train or taking her pretend children to the doctor, I couldn’t quite catch it.

It was funny. But what pushed me over the edge into laughing out loud was when we began our night prayers. We always begin by blessing ourselves with holy water and then blessing each other. Sophie continued to narrate throughout. She put holy water on my forehead: “God bless Mama, she said.” Then Dom’s forehead, “God bless Daddy, she said,” and on through the whole family. Everything she said was punctuated by “she said.”

6 Responses to Third Person

  1. Jennifer Gregory Miller December 2, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    I do crave those sick and mental health days! But I agree with you—couldn’t say it better!

  2. MicheleQ December 2, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    I think it’s all related to the scripture passage that says “woman will be saved in childbearing”.  I always tell people that while yes it’s true that 10 children are a blessing it’s also true that God knew I would NEED that many to become the woman He has called me to be. 

    My temptation (especially when it’s cold and dreary like now) is to go inward.  I magnify things, get mopey etc.  I could spend days in bed if there weren’t all these people around me who needed me and who force me to step outside of myself and be of service to them.  But of course that’s good because it’s what I really need too.  Not that a day off here and there isn’t nice too .

    And as your children get older it does get easier to be sick.  I’m sick today (after 3 days of caring for sick kids) and my 14 yr. old daughter made sure no one bothered me, took care of getting her siblings breakfast and let me rest. 

    I see your sweet little girls becoming the same way.  It’s a blessing all around.

  3. Meg December 2, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I used to call my mental health days “brownie days” after the time my mom kept all 4 of us kids home from school one day and made brownies for breakfast – just because.  One of the best memories of my childhood. She let us take one day off of school a year after that, even if we weren’t sick.

    I really appreciate the reminder that my single life may have had more days for books and chocolate bars curled up in bed, but also didn’t have the joy of a toddler’s giggle at a funny picture book on the couch – oh, and cleaning up the hot chocolate the 4 year old spilled first.  The books and chocolate are still there – just in different forms.  And I’m no longer alone and lonely; I get to wake up with my best friend – Every. Single. Day.  I’ve been having a hard time facing the morning as the winter gears us.  I’ve been just wishing for a day off and time alone.  I really appreciate the change in perspective you’ve offered here.

    This comment turned out a lot longer than I intended.  Thank you so much for helping me think through my thoughts. smile  Thanks Melanie.

  4. Calah December 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Oh Melanie, I totally know what you mean. I have a great husband too who also puts up with all my crap.

    I love this post. It’s beautiful. Thank you!

  5. Erika December 2, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    Oh, thank you again! My little, internal self-pity party is on HIGH these days, and I need these reminders of how blessed I am. My husband, too, just had to put up with a huge pile of emotional baggage from me. He took it so gracefully. And let me sleep in this morning. Love this! Hang in there! Someday we’ll be fifty-five and all alone on dark days. I know in my heart I will miss this time.

  6. Katherine December 2, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    I never had an employer who would have understood “Mental Health Day”s and I can’t recall any days my mom let me just stay home, probably because she worked a lot. I vaguely remember days in college I would take off “just because” but it seems so so so long ago.

    I definitely don’t miss my single or childless days. This is definitely better and I wouldn’t trade it. Even after I’d been so short tempered today, Cecilia and Felicity spent part of the afternoon drawing hearts for me and James. You can’t put a price on the trade-off.

    But I also understand about needing “mental health days”. I have been tired the last few days and I am wondering if what I need to break my tired, short-temperedness is “a day off.” Of course, moms don’t get days off. (Confidentially I always want to give priests a pathetic look when they complain about their day on the golf course.) But, I think, taking a day where you don’t *have* to do anything but the bare necessities and taking some time to enjoy yourself, whether that is reading a book or watching a film or getting out, can make a world of difference. And, if you can do it with your kids, it can be even better.

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