I met this little girl, adopted from China by an English couple. The girl’s accent was so thick. It was really funny to see an Asian toddler speak with such a British accent.
She was maximizing all the fun she could have before her parents put her to bed. That meant playing with the other “kids” in the room, which happened to be me, a 23 year old, and a 30 year old.
All giggly, she laid out the ground rules: “I’m going to run, and you’re going to chase me.”
I was astonished. I realized that’s exactly what relationships should be: clear, specific, communication. What if she just started running? I wouldn’t know what to do. Is she going to hide for hide and seek? Is she going to a spot to start counting? Is she going to get blankets for a fort? What if she just yelled “tag!”? I could walk around, half heartedly playing with her. No! She said “I’m going to run, and you’re going to chase me.” She told me she was going to run! And wanted me to chase her!
This is textbook communication.
“I’m going to buy you flowers, and I hope it pleases you.”
“I’m going to do the dishes, while you fold the laundry.”
“I’m upset you were late to pick up the kids, while I was stuck with your mother-in-law.”
You learn so much from one sentence from a little girl!