The Honking Goose

something to honk about

tell me, Dr. Octopus, will my kids think I am dumb?

Hey, gang. How’s it goin’? The other day I wrote a post about listening to my son talk about playing Minecraft. Well, that reminded me of a blog post I wrote a year ago, about a conversation with my other son, who was 9 at the time. I’m going to share it with you here, today.

September 9, 2013

My kids talk about comic book characters/super heroes/video game characters a lot. Like everyday, for tens of minutes on end. It doesn’t help that my attention span for these topics is about eight seconds, give or take. I can’t actually devote my full concentration to the barrage of comic book information I receive from them daily. That would require the superhuman mental powers of… you know… that heroine with the superhuman mental powers… what’s-her-name*. So, I’ve become really good at feigning interest and such invaluable conversation props such as “mm hmm”, “yeah”, “oh really?” “that’s cool”. “I didn’t know that” is especially useful and always honest. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to fear this technique may backfire.

Because if I do an excellent job of pretending to really listen to their endless ramblings concerning adventure heroes and villains, but I can’t remember an iota of the knowledge they’ve shared with me days later, will they think I’m dumb?

Case in point:

Setting: In the kitchen after dinner. Through the windows the darkening sky shows the lateness of the hour. Mom stands at the kitchen, sponge in hand, washing dishes.
Enter: 9yo son holding his notebook and a pencil
Son: Do you want some company?
Mom: Yes! That would be great…
Son: You know Dr. Octopus?
Mom: No, I don’t think I do…
Son: You know, the guy with the robotic arms like an octopus?
(This sounds vaguely familiar to Mom, have they had this conversation before?)
Mom: -shakes head-
Son: Remember that book I was reading with the picture of the thing and you asked me that question and I said Dr. Octopus?
Mom: No
(Mom is confused, what book?)
Son: Never mind…
(Mom is relieved. She may be off the hook for now. She thinks, ‘did he say Dr. Octagon? Or was it Dr. Octopus? Dr. Octagon sounds right.)
Mom: Dr. Octagon?
Son: NO MOM! DR. OCTOPUS!

Dr. Octopus holds Spider Man in the grip of his robotic arms

Do your kids get frustrated with you when they have to repeat information they’ve told you again and again? If so, welcome to the club.



*her name is Jean Grey (thanks to my husband for knowing who I meant)

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35 comments on “tell me, Dr. Octopus, will my kids think I am dumb?

  1. just another s-a-h-mother
    November 5, 2014

    I often reply with “I see”.

    What I like best is when, for example, BoyGenius (my now 10yr old) comes out of school for lunch and on our walk home starts talking to me about something specific from a video game or a comic book or something as if he’s just picking up where we left off in an earlier conversation — and I know we weren’t discussing anything. So I listen for awhile, try to orient myself within the context of the child’s vast pop-culture filled brain, and then once I’m thoroughly and utterly confused, I actually ask,”Were we talking about this earlier?” and then follow with “Don’t you have any friends you can discuss this with?”

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 8, 2014

      Ack! My husband does that all. the. time. He just starts a conversation – half of which has already happened in his own head – and expects me to have half a clue what he is talking about. I’m not a mind-reader! lol 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • just another s-a-h-mother
        November 9, 2014

        BoyGenius also often stops halfway through whatever he’s relating to me. I figured out a few years ago (when he was in grade 1, I think) that in his head he has already finished telling the story, so he’s done. His thoughts move way faster than his conversational back and forth which is sometimes too fast to keep up with anyway!

        Like

  2. normalisboringsoiheard
    October 29, 2014

    * When conversation goes in a direction of me not understanding or caring, direct it to a conversation other party would not care to pursue, “How was school today?”, “Did you get your math quiz back”, “I want to talk about our relationship!”. Then everyone runs from you! Not nice, but hey it works! Lol. 😝😊

    Like

  3. mjmsprt40
    October 28, 2014

    We don’t stop playing because we grow old.

    We grow old because we stop playing.

    Enjoy these days with your children, because when these days are gone, they’re gone for good.

    Like

  4. Bruce Thiesen
    October 28, 2014

    *when we go on about abstract things like standing in line, tagging up at second unless there are two outs, punctuation and religion.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 28, 2014

      My kids are quick to let me know when they are not interested in what I’m saying, but less quick to pick up on it when I am hinting the same. :/

      There are however, a few topics which we all enjoy going on about – those conversations are the best. 😀

      Like

      • Bruce Thiesen
        October 28, 2014

        Advice fof when they are teenagers, listen to whatever they want to talk about. Whenever they want to talk. Will pay dividends to all of you.

        Like

        • thehonkinggoose
          October 28, 2014

          I agree. I hope they will always feel they can talk to me about ANYTHING.

          Like

  5. Bruce Thiesen
    October 28, 2014

    Just think how little kids think when we go

    Like

  6. mjmsprt40
    October 28, 2014

    Hmmm….. I might just become your enemy at this point. Or maybe your valuable assistant. One of the two, anyway. See, it just so happens I’ve been reading the Spiderman comics, and Dr. Octopus is the chief villain in the current storyline. He had just built an earthquake machine, and Spidey had just destroyed it thereby saving New York (again), but probably not going to get much credit for that.

    Yeah, it’s sorta strange for a nearly 60 year old man to be reading comics, but– there it is.

    Like

  7. NotAPunkRocker
    October 28, 2014

    Definitely have had more than one of those conversations at our house 🙂

    Like

  8. Yoshiko
    October 28, 2014

    So far, my son isn’t frustrated with me with regards to this issue, but maybe frustrated in my discipline of his behaviours. 😉

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 28, 2014

      Well, that would frustrate any kid, but unfortunately it can’t be avoided. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yoshiko
        October 28, 2014

        🙂 Yea. But today he wakes up to some of his wrong behaviours when he shares how his classmate forcefully to get the purple crayon from him with cries.

        Like

      • Yoshiko
        October 28, 2014

        Great that he repents his behaviours

        Like

  9. Very Bangled
    October 28, 2014

    Dr. Octagon shout out! Nice.

    Like

  10. joeyfullystated
    October 28, 2014

    I maintain the unpopular opinion that when they’re around age 10, we should stop pretending to care what our kids are interested in. It’s just not polite to attempt conversation about subjects only the speaker is interested in. For instance, I never talk to my son about how supportive my new bras are, or all the things the food processor does, and I don’t care about Bakugan. I never call my dad to engage him in a conversation about the latest mascara and I don’t want to hear about his golf game — and that’s exactly how I got my point across at the time.
    So yes, I totally know how you feel.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 28, 2014

      I agree with you. My older son just turned 10 and he needs to learn, for obvious reasons, that there are two sides to a conversation. He’s one who will talk on and on and want you to keep listening without letting you talk. And he is too old to get away with that now.

      Like

      • joeyfullystated
        October 28, 2014

        I’m glad I didn’t offend you 🙂
        I offended him at the time, but he understood my logic, and knew I would still buy the Bakugan! Haha!

        Like

        • thehonkinggoose
          October 28, 2014

          lol – you certainly don’t have to care about a thing, to buy one for your kid, I know that very well.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. aquene7
    October 28, 2014

    Ha, my youngest is 18 and he loves talking Anime to me. I have also been through World of Minecraft and up-teen other games, all of which I know nothing of. He is so passionate about them and I am so not interested. I appreciate the graphics and that’s about it really. He does keep trying to convert me thought:-)

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 28, 2014

      I know my youngest isn’t going to want to talk to me about prices at the grocery store or the details of my workday, so I’m just glad we’re talking about something, even if I don’t “get” it. It’ll probably still be true when he is 18. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  12. rachealizations
    October 28, 2014

    Ha! We use the exact same phrases when we are “listening.” Little Man just thinks I have a terrible, awful memory. You know…because I’m old. Grrr.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 28, 2014

      “I didn’t know that” comes in handy all the time, I get a lot of mileage out of that one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. jsackmom
    October 28, 2014

    Yes my son gets so frustrated as he’s talking to me and I’m busy preparing dinner. Also picking up toys so I don’t trip on them, getting s snack for little bro who can never wait for dinner. Ahhhh sometimes I’d love if someone stopped for 10 minutes to listen to me talk about my passion!!! Jean Grey is always my favorite, and then she’s bad ass as the Phoenix her altar ego. Hmmm that’s a thought maybe I should have an altar ego. 😉 Great blog, I really enjoyed it. 🙂

    Like

  14. Notmebutme
    October 28, 2014

    laugh as the needed pill! you’ve done it!

    Like

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This entry was posted on October 28, 2014 by in Parenting, Personal and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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