Look to me in my eyeball.


I’ve realized something this week.

I have got to start looking the Wild Things in the eye when I speak to them.

I never noticed how very little I actually do that.  Usually I’m looking everywhere but at them when I talk.  So I’m literally not talking to them, I’m talking at them.

No wonder they don’t listen to me most of half the time.

Now, I’ve understood this theory related to little boys for years now, in the context of making requests of them.  You must get eye level with a boy to communicate what you want of them.  But I usually wait until I’m already exasperated before I bother doing that. Fail.

But, it’s come to my attention that I never look them in the eye.  Maybe it’s because they’re rarely looking me in the eye because they’re running around like little boys, shooting bad guys and avoiding floor lava.  Maybe it’s because I’m running around like a big little mama, picking up toys, making sandwiches, and just. trying. to. pee

Whatever the reason, I’ve got to change it.  Because if I’m going to succeed at this respectful relationship I want with my kids, we’re going to have to start making eye contact like humans.  Instead of just swinging vines past each other like a bunch of apes.

So the last day or two I’ve been making a concerted effort to stop, look, and speak.  And, lo and behold, I find myself connecting better, and being more patient with the shifty eyed Wild Things.  And I think they’re feeling more heard, more seen, more paid attention to, also.

happy as hippo

Win. Win.

We are happy, like the hippo.

Do you look to your Wild Things in their eyeballs? 


*apologies to anyone who hasn’t seen Along Came Polly.


  1. I imagine that none of the women reading your blog will actually be looking at the words today. And I think I threw up in my mouth a little. ;)
    My recent post People Like Me

  2. Are you not for scuba, Tony? :D

  3. I love the topic but who in the heck is that guy in the speedo?
    My recent post My Blessed Weekend

  4. I take it you have not seen Along Came Polly, then. :) Why, that's Scuba Claude, of course!

    Sorry, I could not get him out of my head when thinking about the topic of eye contact. Google for some clips of "look to me in my eyeball" or "happy as a hippo" for an audio of his awesome accent. :)

  5. Don't worry, Tony, I threw up too. :-)

    I looked Piper in the eyes once. "Look me in the eyes", I said. She got right up to my face. One eyeball, eyes wide and she says "What. do. you. want? I. am. a. robot.".

    I couldn't stop laughing.
    My recent post Jenna

  6. you want to learn scuba? look me in my eye and let me tell you that movie cracks. me. up! and you're right, eye contact is a must, and for me, it's so they can really see that i mean what i say, whether it's "i love you" or "i'm going to harm you if you do not exit the room in a timely manner". =) good post. and any time you can reference scuba claude is a plus.
    My recent post Boys

  7. Snicker!

    And I can't believe there are so many Scuba Claude haters out there! :P

  8. Finally, a Scuba Claude appreciator! :)

  9. We have found that it depends on the child– my oldest needs eye contact, my youngest is more comfortable without eye contact (he is embarrassed easily and struggles making eye contact as much as I do– there are certain times when I deliberately do it with him but for the most part he is more comfortable if I don't.) What I find works best with my younger two isn't eye contact but physical contact– Essie and Issac both listen much better and pay attention better if I give them a cuddle while I talk to them, put my hand on their head or shoulder, even a one handed hug.

  10. That's true. My Four Year Old is almost incapable of making eye contact (as is his daddy) and I don't force him. But I am making an effort to give him MY eyeballs more, instead of looking at the sandwich I'm making or whatever the case may be, while talking to him.

  11. I don't struggle with making eye contact with my kiddos, but I am T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E. at making eye contract with cashiers. I feel really guilty about that.
    My recent post Because Laughter is Good for the Soul…

  12. In some kind of poetic justice today, your comment was in my spam folder. Lol.

  13. my kids get the eye contact when it's really important that they do something, but being more intentional about that could help get the nonessentials accomplished, too!

    thanks for the reminder.
    My recent post Perils of young love and other school plagues

  14. I honestly didn't notice how much I WASN'T doing it. It really is helping.

  15. Gotta love Scuba Claude!! And no joke, I was just thinking about that movie yesterday…. except I was thinking about the scene when he's leaving her house and she's handing him the wrapped up loofah that he, um, ruined. lol ANYWAY, great post. And I will make an extra effort to make sure I'm looking to my kids in the eyeball today!! :)
    My recent post My Sheltered Children

  16. Karma! Oh wait….I don't believe in that junk. ;)
    My recent post Because Laughter is Good for the Soul…

  17. What goes around spams around.

  18. I youtubed some videos of Scuba Claude for this post and it really made me want to watch it. His accent is priceless.

  19. jboring says:

    I make a lot of eye contact but it's always during the fun times, on the other side of that eye contact is rarely ever made when I'm trying to impart in the moment knowledge ("Pulling Kirra's hair is not nice!" "If you touch the oven it's going to burn your hand!" "The dog is not for drawing on!") because when those things come up they're busy looking at something else (Kirra's hair clip/the enchelada's baking behind the hot plastic window/the dog covered in blue highlighter) but really those are probably the times the eye contact is most necessary. Sigh… more things to work on.
    My recent post Geocaching

  20. Exactly! Lol.

  21. I'm dropping by from Dan's blog today.

    I, too, am a Scuba Claude appreciater. Unfortunately…no kids to make look me in the eye. I have dogs. Do dogs count?!?! :-)
    My recent post Tuesdays At The Table – Strawberry Citrus Punch

  22. Sure, why not! :) Just ask them if they're for scuba.

  23. kimkircher says:

    You have a beautiful blog here. I found you through ww4f, and I'm glad I did. You're quirky, and I like that!
    My recent post Avalanche Cliff Jump- A Bird’s Eye View

  24. Well–I try. And I try to really listen to them–not just to the words they are saying. And I fail. And I try again. Still a work in progress.

  25. Ha, Ha. I love that movie. I would never let that guy give my girl scuba lessons!

    Yes, I make it a point to look at my kids in the eye. They also demand it.
    My recent post The Usual Suspects- Foolish Teens

  26. Yay for Quirky! :D

  27. Just don't wear sandals. Or we know where your offspring will look.

  28. Maybe it's more a stay at home mom problem, since we're just with each other all. the. time.

  29. Melissa says:

    Haha! I love that guy! :) And yes, I look my kids in the eye, but I do need to work on listening to them more.
    My recent post Unraveling

  30. Sometimes it's hard to listen because of all the noise! :) At least, that's the case here.

  31. I do look in the #babychild's eyes! for the first few months, though he wouldn't look at anyone. now he loves studying faces.

    Man…it's pretty cool how much you've blown up here :)
    My recent post 249- Part of the Body

  32. Well, then you are a stronger man that I (erm…). How could you resist looking into that voluminous hair?!

    I don't know if I've blown up so much as people really just like hearing about other people's easter fail's. ;)

  33. hey whatever keeps them coming back. my lady gaga tree supported me for like 4 months, http://www.mohan37.com/?p=3383
    My recent post 249- Part of the Body

  34. Whoa, that was before I started coming around. Way to Optimize those Search Engines. ;)

  35. Great post!

    There are a few of my children that always heard {read: multiple times per day}, "Look in my eyes."

    Why didn't I think of using this movie line?! Genius. Scuba Claude cracks me up!

  36. Glad to know I'm not the only one looking little people in their eyeball. :)

  37. HA! I just found your blog and have been laughing hysterically every five minutes, I actually just spit my coffee out on this post. As a mother of boys, I can so relate. Floor lava! I'm glad we're not the only ones with this amazing domestic phenomenon. I'm regularly instructed to hop over stairs and across rugs to survive.

    My recent post Organizing My Ideas

  38. Floor lava is a mutli-generational phenomenon. It does not have to be taught. :)


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