Thursday, 27 June 2013
So what is 'cheeky' nowadays? I remember as a child something simple like referring to an adult by their first name could be seen as 'cheeky'. By definition, a child being referred to as cheeky has taken on a whole new meaning. I think if my mother were to be told that we were 'cheeky' she would have been quite disappointed, yet I refer to my own children as cheeky little monkeys on a regular basis! Cheeky I suppose is tolerated at different levels and depends on the age of the child.
Miss A has started to get a bit cheeky. She has started to stick out her tongue at everyone to which I tell her I am going to pull her tongue off and give it to the dog. She generally laughs at me and then does it again five seconds! This seems to be a phase at the moment and I really am not sure about it. It is hilarious watching that chubby little face pointed directly at you with eyebrows raised and protruding tongue. This done to the wrong person however can result in a 'bad parent' type scenario where you are at the supermarket and they do it at an older lady who gasps and scuttles off in disgust. She will shout 'no' back at me when I ask her to do something, and will find all of this quite entertaining. I really cant help but laugh myself at her funny little face and therefore she gets away with it.
Miss M is at another level of cheeky. Miss M will talk back at you arguing the point. She will say intelligent things like 'poopey head' and 'bum bum' and run off giggling. She will wiggle her little backside at you when you tell her to go to bed and respond with a smug 'no its not' and is always very proud of herself with her responses. She makes everyone laugh though, and therefore she also gets away with it. At daycare today one of the daycare ladies who lets say goes by the name 'Liz' was saying goodbye to the girls. Miss M promptly turned around and said 'see-ya Lizard!'. I was mortified!! I almost felt myself instinctually duck my head from that smack around the ears that you would expect to get if you had have said something of that sort to an adult when you were a child. The daycare girls laughed it off and said not to worry about it because they had been saying it earlier. This morning, Miss M, on getting out of the car this morning said 'thank-you' for something. She then turned this into 'wank-you' which she obviously read the discomfort in my expression and repeated it a few times grinning before I told her it wasn't a very nice thing to say to get her to stop. Tonight at dinner, Miss M wanted me to get up and get her a drink and I told her we would all have a drink after dinner. She sat there all through dinner talking away, nibbling at her dinner but doing more talking than eating. Just as I finished and said I was full she looked at me and said 'oh good, you can get my drink now' which as cheeky as it was, it was hilarious so again by laughing at her 'more front that Myer' approach, we are fuelling this behaviour!
Miss H can be a whole new world of cheeky. Generally more so to her father because he likes to stir her up so she retaliates and generally ends up speaking the same way that he speaks to her. She gets involved in the arguments that her father and I are having speaking in that 'so ner' tone which drives me insane! The indignant tone in her responses makes me wild and I can feel the steam coming from my ears. She even argues with her aunties, which I find terrible! God, if we had have done that in our day!! And the comments they make are no longer funny but in fact can be hurtful. ie. 'mums undies are HUGE!'. So by eleven, cheeky is no longer funny, and I'm not sure at what age that changed.
Some parents let things go and its always interesting to be at the receiving end of it. I remember once speaking to a friend of mines brother when he was about ten years old. At this point I had a rather large 'coco pop' type mole on my face. I remember walking into the house and he looked at me and said 'you have some cake on your face', his parents were in the room with him and said nothing. I explained to him that it was not cake but a mole that I have had forever. He kept going, digging the hole deeper, and still his parents did nothing to stop him. I will never forget that awkward moment! I will also never understand why his parents didn't just save me the embarrassment by turning it round on him and saying that that wasn't a nice thing to say.
There are also the times when there is unintentional cheekiness. Everyone has had the dreaded moment in the supermarket when your child yells out 'mum, why is that lady so fat?', or 'mum, why is that mans skin like chocolate?', or 'mum, I want to have a turn on that wheelycar' pointing to a man in a wheelchair. When Miss H was littler we had friends who had a daughter in law with cerebral palsy. I remember when one day she asked Miss H a question and Miss H responded with a giggly 'stop talking funny!'. I have never felt so uncomfortable and shushed Miss H and then ushered her away to explain to her why this lady spoke differently to us.
I can always tell a whether parents are old fashioned or not when their primary school aged child stands up next to me. On some occasions the child will openly try to measure up against my 149cm tall self saying 'WOW! You're short!' or 'Im nearly taller than you!'. The children who have the old fashioned parents will at least discreetly sidle up to me, look at the top of my head, and then quietly disappear, whispering to their friends/siblings that they are taller than Miss H's mum!