Children Will Listen

children will listen

Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Careful the things you do
Children will see and learn
Children may not obey, but children will listen
Children will look to you for which way to turn
So learn what to be
Careful before you say “Listen to me”
Children will listen

-“Children Will Listen,” from Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods

My 3yo son has an energy and force that is hard to contain.  He doesn’t sit still for much, and rarely seems to “tune in” to what I say to him.

Despite all this, we have somehow managed to establish a very sweet, quiet bedtime routine of reading books and singing songs; I usually do a medley of three or four apiece.

Though my son is often wiggling around or staring off while I read or sing, he is at least quiet.  And, apparently, he is also listening.

Last night he took one of his favorite books – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – patted his pillow and asked me to lie down with him.  He then proceeded to read the book to me!  Well, not so much “read” as “tell” me the story as he associated what he remembered with each of the pictures.

My favorite parts?  Every time he said “But he was still hungry!”

Once he finished, he asked to start again, and we read through The Very Hungry Caterpillar another three or four times.  He was so pleased with myself, and I had to fight back tears.

Children may not obey, but children will listen.