I got caught talking in the third person again. I don’t do it often. In fact, I only do it when I’m speaking to my kids. Not all the time, but on occasion. Apparently, one time is more often than you should ever do it. The problem is, I look at my 8 and 11 year old and sometimes I see a 3 and 5 year old. I try to blame it on their behavior, rather than my warped perception of how fast they are growing up, and sometimes they buy it, but most of the time, they don’t.
I was telling Natalie something and instead of saying, “I want you to…” I said, “Mommy wants you to…” Natalie looked at me, lips tightened, and controlling the urge to scream, (I’m afraid anger management classes might be in her future) replied, “You’re talking about yourself in the third person again.” Ugh, I was. I didn’t realize it. It’s an occupational hazard of parenting. Damnit, I just got over calling the bathroom, potty, but apparently, this is going to be a harder habit to break.
I never should have started talking like that in the first place. When Nicole was born, I didn’t. I vowed I would speak to them like little adults so that they would have good vocabularies and not mimic baby talk. That lasted about as long as my vow never to lose my temper with them…how foolish new parents can be.
But now they’re big, as they constantly remind me and unfortunately, I recognize, but try to deny. Subconsciously, of course, which explains the talking in the third person. Natalie said to me recently after I fell off the wagon and had another slip into third personhood, “Mom, people who talk about themselves in the third person sound crazy.” She’s right, of course. “But maybe I am crazy,” I quipped, “Driven there on the superhighway called parenthood.” Natalie, queen of the straight faced one-liners, completely ignored my point and said, “Thanks Mom, I feel really loved,” and then went about whatever thing she was doing that she knew would make Mommy mad! I mean, would make me mad. See, maybe she’s right, I am crazy.