Non-communication with Mia
Little Mia chews her way slowly through her second bowl of spaghetti, her face tomato-sauce red from chin to ears, with the odd speckle on nose and forehead. The other children have long since left the table. Mia looks up at me and says something indecipherable.
"Are you finished, Mia?"
"Give me your bowl, then, and we'll go wash your hands and face."
She clutches the bowl protectively. Body language contradicts her expressed wishes. Hmmm... Best clarify.
"Are you finished, lovie, or do you want to keep eating?"
I've fallen into this trap too many times not to try it again in reverse.
"Do you want to keep eating, or are you finished?"
As I thought. We'll try it one question at a time, then.
"Are you all done?"
Seems clear enough, right? Think again.
"Do you want more?"
"I think I'll just leave you alone and let you sort this out yourself, okay?"
Confusing, but polite. The girl will go far.