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News from the Nest: A gift for gab about anything

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At 6 years old, my son talks a lot. No really. A LOT. We often joke with him that we can't believe he doesn't lose his voice with how much he talks. The topic can be anything. You pick it and he can carry a conversation, most of which will be led by him, for as long as the other party is interested. In fact, he often continues even when the other party has tried to change the subject or leave the conversation altogether.

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My husband and I are talkers as well but with age have learned that you have to listen, too. With our son, you can tell when someone is talking, his little mind is not listening; it is thinking of all the things he wants to say if the other person would just stop. I'm still amazed at how often he doesn't hear what I am saying when speaking directly to him. But when I'm in conversation with someone else and he is in another room, then he can repeat word for word what I've said.

One night this winter we all went to a West Fargo wrestling match. My son remembered a few of the guys from last year and all night was discussing who was older between brothers on the team. On our drive home he had a dozen questions about the evening. A few times my husband and I looked at each other with the "will he ever stop?" look. But we continued to answer them the best we could.

When there was finally a pause in his talking my husband and I started our own conversation about work. Our son tried several times to interrupt and we quickly told him that he needed to wait until we were done talking. In the rear view mirror we could see his anticipation and the wheels turning in his head. He tried to interrupt again, saying he had questions he wanted to ask before he forgot. We again told him to wait until we were done. Keep in mind this is all over the course of about two minutes and we were purposely dragging our conversation on just to see if he could handle it. Cruel parents, aren't we?

Finally my husband finished something he was telling me and then asked "okay buddy, what's on your mind?" Our son's response verbatim, "I have something to say. First of all, who is bigger, the brother from last year or the one wrestling tonight? Second of all, why are there ditches?"

At first I didn't understand his second question, probably because it had absolutely nothing to do with the first. Then I realized we were driving on a gravel road with ditches on both sides. I managed to tell him they were great questions so he wouldn't feel put down and then immediately broke out in laughter. All I could envision was him sitting in the back seat, frustrated that we wouldn't stop talking, trying to remember his questions; brothers, ditches, brothers, ditches, brothers, ditches...

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