I am snarky. IRL. On this blog. I’m irreverent & my sense of humor tends sharply toward sarcasm.
Pro tip: kids do not get sarcasm.
Even big kids. Like my 8 year old.
Kids (big & small) are busy making sense of this world every moment of every day. Their brains are categorizing, compartmentalizing, absorbing. It’s all so darn real & immediate.
So sarcasm is usually lost on them.
Except it’s not.
Turns out my son has been observing my sarcasm quietly & taking me at my word. And I need to stop! I’ve known I need to stop forever.
One recent morning, I was joking (or so I thought) with my partner, MFA Dad. I threatened to burn his toast in jest. I forgot the exchange all together, but my son did not.
As we sat down to eat (MFA Dad’s toast perfectly done… or burned entirely by accident… I can’t remember which…) T asked me (all sincerity & seriousness) why people just can’t get along.
T recalled for me my very recent threat to ruin his father’s breakfast.
So, because of my sarcasm, I’ve basically ruined my son’s sense of loving partnership & human relationships. Probably forever.
I explained (& apologized for) my weird sense of humor. I tried to rehabilitate my foibles …
Truth is, he’s 8 & he’s basically an anthropologist. He is observing human interactions. Testing the limits of love & acceptance. (He also tests this by being a complete jerk & seeking love at the same time… That’s a whole other topic…)
This morning, bleary-eyed with lack of sleep & caffeine, I almost let my snark slip as I made coffee. I caught myself. Instead, I thanked MFA Dad for helping me get ready for work.
They both deserve more sincerity from me. Not that I’m not sincere. I have my sarcastic moments & I get more sarcastic the more I feel overwhelmed or stressed. It’s definitely a crutch. But I’m also a smother-you-with-love type of parent. Still, in the hustle & bustle of work & parenthood, I realize it is my partner who needs more random kind words. More thanks.
I can thank T for forcing me to be more present with him & my partner.