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The Cricket Code

Posted by Patience on May 22, 2009 at 6:00 AM in Connecting with kidsRaising Girls
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flower lover

I'm convinced children are the masters at communicating and connecting in our world. Why we don't take notes and classes is a total mystery to me. A code has been created in our house during the last few weeks. It is what we like to call The Cricket Code.

I'm not sure how she came up with it but Lucy has been tagging "cricket" to our names during certain conversations. When we picked up that it was a kind of code we all started using it.

"We are the girls together! Right mama cricket?" Lucy said.
"We are Lucy cricket!" I replied.

The code usually means one of four things.

I want to connect.
I love you.
I'm trying.
I need you.

In tense moments, I see her try the code to invite me to meet her in the middle. Other times it makes space for us to melt into a celebration of our shared goodness. Sometimes you just need a way to convey a thought or a feeling with out actually using the words. I am in awe when my children find ways to make our relationship better. In some ways I feel like I understand her in a way I never have before.

Do you have any codes or connecting games at your house? My friend Gina and her son Yates do this funny face game which ends in a tight hug and lots of giggling.
Are you looking for more help with this topic? I know I always am. Check out this guide for more connecting goodness.


kristen writes...

In my house everyone is Bug - Big Bug, Little Bug and Baby Bug. I love insect nicknames!

Sarah writes...

I love this post! In our house, we shout out "where's my beautiful gi---irl?" or "where's my beautiful dad-deeee?" or where's my beautiful Ma-maaa?" when we're looking for each other or when one of us arrives home after being out for awhile.

kelly writes...

this is so, so dear--i cannot tell you how my heart swoons to hear of the cricket code. thank you so much for sharing this. it really gives me hope that there's something on the other side of "the boobie code," which has a powerful monopoly in our house right now, with a still-nursing toddler & a 7 month-old. as i prepare to wean my eldest in the coming months, i will look for opportunities to create codes together which can foster closeness and comfort...

Amy writes...

when I think of games, the first things that pops into my head is our all-family (5 of us) Nerf gun wars. sometimes there is a secret parental ambush and sometimes they're planned. either way, pelting each other with soft objects (be they Nerf bullets or pillows perhaps) has a way of obliterating barriers, ensuring smiles and laughter and it seriously makes my son's entire month.

my youngest (5) likes the reassurance that I'm "here" and keeps me in check with a question every 30 seconds. she's upstairs playing and I'm downstairs and she just asked me, "Mama, is the middle of nowhere real?" we tackle the important topics every day.

Eleanor writes...

Not long ago my daughter started saying "I love you more" whenever I would say "I love you" to her. She is 11. Now it's become a little competition - "I love you" "I love you more" "Uh uh, I love you more"...and so on. Sometimes I say "Impossible" (as in 'for you to love me more than I love you.') I am not a big fan of competition. It rears its head naturally, so I never see any need to encourage it, but this kind of competition I am all over. Everyone wins because everyone feels loved!!

Steve writes...

Like you, I am amazed at the spontaneous ability children have to create bridges of communication on the spot and to use the tool to maintain the connection with humor and feeling.

De in D.C. writes...

When my son was younger, we used to play a game where I'd say I loved him, and it would devolve into "I love you more." "No, I love YOU more" "nono, I love YOUUUU more!!!" which would go on for 5-10mins. Now that he's 8, it doesn't happen very often anymore.

Jess writes...

We're all "guys" over here. It started when my husband began calling our first son "Griffyguy". When he was two, he would call us "Daddyguy" and "Mommyguy" as if it were a term of endearment! His brothers are "guys", now, too.

Same child likes to do the ASL sign for I Love You to me, and I sign ILY too back to him. It's often just a momentary connection in the middle of something. So sweet.

Kristen writes...

While holding hands with my now-older boys, we sometimes have a three squeeze code which means "I love you", without anyone else around knowing.

Amy writes...

I do not have a family yet, but I use a lot of "secret codes" with my students. With so many children in one room, and some children that do not respond well to open compliments, I have learned to give them looks and signs when I am noticing there good behavior and/or hard work.

I walk by and whisper "looking good!" Give a thumbs up from across a room, or quietly walk by and give them a smiley face on their paper, or a sticker on their hand. They love these quiet gestures because it makes them feel like they are receiving more attention because what I am doing is intimate and secretive.

Gina writes...

There's something about a nickname that feels special and safe. I still love to be called by my childhood nickname and when I hear it from an unexpected friend, it just feels like home. Here's to Luce and her cricket mama.... may it last many cricket years.

Christa writes...

When my husband and I first fell in love, we had this game that we played....I love you all the way to Mars and back with a pit stop on Saturn and back 100,000 times. And then the next person would try to outdo the other I love you....with some witty sentiment. And each time we played we would come up with some totally different...I love you.... deeper than all four of the oceans put together a billion times... Well, this I love you ritual has continued on with our first born and soon, our second boy will catch on. First born boy loves to come up with the most wacky I love yous.....I love you, Mama, all of the entire bugs that there ever were in the entire world and all of their eyeballs put together. And on and on......

PS - My nickname as a baby and young girl was Cricket. My mom said that when she would look at me sleeping in the crib, I looked like I was all legs. So, from one cricket mama to another....sweet dreams.

PatienceAuthor Profile Page writes...

Oh, I love reading all the connecting "I love you" made me think of Becky Bailey's book, I Love You Rituals. I have to dig it out, but you can find more about it here-

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