Can You Hear Me Now?

January 31, 2011 at 12:01 am | Posted in Lollipop, Transylvania | 21 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Like the CIA, she's always listening.

Romania. It’s been a hot topic of conversation in our house for months now.

We talk about it over dinner. Over spilled milk. Over glasses of wine and whine. We talk about it while we referee tricycle drag races. We talk about it with each other, our parents, our friends. But never with the kids.

It’s still a couple of months away. It’s big news. And we’re waiting for the right time, the right way, to tell them. Plus, I’m not ready to wake up each morning and have a tiny person ask me, “Are we going to Romania today?” For 90 days in a row.

Caught on Tape
So we’re trying to keep their routine normal. To keep our frenzy of planning and packing low-key. Last week, we were scoping out the Land’s End clearance sale for pint-sized snow gear. As we speculated about the difference between a squall parka and a down jacket, my husband pulled out the tape measure to get hat sizes for Lollipop and Giggles.

Just like the broccoli on their plates, they ignored us.

Flash forward a few days. With my husband working late, I was pulling a dinner shift solo. As I scurried around refilling cups, peeling oranges, and telling the kids how fun “couscous” is to say, not to mention eat, Lollipop asked, “Why was Dad measuring my head?”

I said something vague like, “Oh, we thought you might need a warm hat for the winter.”

Movin’ to the Country
She blinked. Stared at me. And said, “Winter is cold in Romania. I am going to need it!”

I picked my jaw and a few moldy Cheerios up off the floor. Nonchalantly and noncommittally, I said, “Yes, Romania.”

“That’s where our house in the country is going to be,” she said, all-knowing.

“What? The country? Oh, you mean, another country? Yes, our new house is going to be in another country. Romania! Won’t that be fun?” I hemmed and hawed.

She went on, asking about the three planes we’ll have to take to get there (three! help me!), wondering if Romanians take ballet, and lamenting that there might not be macaroni and cheese.

A Little Less Talk, A Lot More Action
It was all so very matter-of-fact, like we were talking about visiting a new playground. Then again, for the kiddos, Romania probably sounds a lot like the playground. Jackets, patience, and sharing will be required. We’ll smile and nod when other kids say things to us that we can’t understand. And Mommy and Daddy will talk about it a lot before actually loading everyone up and going.

This was not, however, the big reveal my husband and I had imagined. Because we forgot that kids listen. They’re always listening. Especially when there’s adventure involved.

And now it’s my turn. To listen. 89 more times. “Are we going to Romania today, Mom?” …

How do you share big news with your children? What question do you get asked every day? And do you know the difference between a squall parka and a down jacket??



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  1. I love the last line. It’s true that they pick everything up. And kids are so unfazed by adventure, so much less bothered than we.

  2. Requiring either a squall parka OR a down jacket does not sound fun to me right now, as I am in the middle of my yearly winter protest. I love having four seasons, just wish winter didn’t last so stinking long.

    Kids are always listening. Unless you are asking them to clean their room, put on their shoes, brush their teeth, etc. When they magically lose that uncanny ability to hear every word you’re saying. Maybe if I whispered, in another room, to my husband that the kids need to brush their teeth…maybe THEN they would listen?

    I am in awe of the enormity of this move for your family, and I can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures. What an exciting (and scary but awesome) time. You will forever be able to say, “when we lived in Romania…”. How many people can say that?!

  3. Kids are amazing, eh? It reminds me of the time we moved to the US from the States. The biggest hurdle, actually, was telling our parents-in-law about our plans, who we were afraid would be hearbroken at the news, so we’d put it off and off…then one day my husband decided he was going to head over and tell them. Their reaction? “We already knew! Fred told us already, said you guys are moving to the US so he can get a new bike.” πŸ™‚ We had no idea he’d been paying so close attention.

    The timing is key. But it is nice to know that your kids have so far not freaked out at the news. Who knows? It might be more fun having them all in on the big news πŸ™‚

    • Sorry – I meant, when we moved to the US from Japan (not the US from the US!)!

  4. Ah yes, they hear everything!!
    I too, enjoyed the Land’s End clearance sale! I’m not sure about the jackets though… but you probably can’t go wrong with the ‘down’ one.
    Such an adventure!… how many more days?…. are we there yet? are we there yet?

  5. Isn’t it amazing what those little ears pick up on? I’m always blown away.

    And yes, those resilient little souls–they’ll be adjusted way before you, I imagine. What an adventure!

  6. I wish I had half of their resilience and a quarter of their energy. And the brain space to take in all I hear.

  7. Great post – sounds like breaking the news won’t be as hard as expected. But yes, now for the questions….!

  8. Much like you. Because I suck at keeping secrets. They spill. Just like the wine and milk.

  9. i know nothing of squall parkas! πŸ™‚ yes, they listen to everything. Everything.

    Right now it is, “How many more days until my birthday?” 26. There always seems to be a countdown to SOMETHING.

  10. Amazing! Romania sounds so exciting. I don’t think I commented way back when, but I loved the title “Vampire Bunnies.” πŸ™‚

  11. Ha! I love the nonchalance of her questioning. It’s funny how we, as parents, often assume that our discussions are secret. Especially when we are openly talking in front of our kids! (I am speaking from my own experience here. Just so you know. ; ) )

  12. Sounds like it got revealed just as it should have been, like something normal and natural (yet exciting!) that’s happening in your lives, not something to be feared and concerned about!

  13. Isn’t it amazing how much kids pick up on? In this case, it sounds like a very good thing. Seems like your little ones are pretty pumped for the “playground” that is Romania πŸ™‚

  14. Yes, kids hear everything. It sounds like you handled the questioning perfectly, giving an air of adventure and fun.

  15. Of course, they hear everything. Even when you think you have whispered low and they are fixated to some Disney show on the telly.

    And the transition to Romania will probably be seamless for them. Because they embrace all with reckless abandon. Amazing isn’t it?

  16. Get the down one….it adjust to your temp…
    And kids always know more than what we think.
    I am so excited to hear about your adventures! Stressful, but what I lifetime full of experiences!

  17. You’re pretty optimistic if you think it’s only going to 89 more times…


    I can NOT imagine the planning and packing and thinking ahead this would require… You have my support. Also, if you need a nanny, I’ll come and leave my kids home. Ok?

  18. Little smarty!
    Sounds like she is already starting to absorb her future.
    Can you smuggle in some mac and cheese?

  19. Those little listening ears! Good news that she is excited and undaunted by what she hears — I am really excited for you guys and for those of us who will get to share in your adventure by blog!

  20. they hear everything! LOL if I don’t want my crew to know something in particular my daughter I do not speak to her about it, around her, near her or in the same room she is the perfect spy. I have learned to tell her things as it happens that includes having friends over for playdates LOL.
    I have no clue what the difference between a squall parka and a down jacket is

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