Saturday, 22 June 2013
'Mum, what is up your nose you silly?!' Miss M chimed. Laughing at the twisted up tissues shoved up each of my nostrils. 'I have a cold and I don't want boogers in the food' I told her, wondering if this answer would suffice. She laughed some more and then continued to eat raw pasta off the bench that had been cleverly tipped all over the bench top by 'accident' allowing convenient access for her to snack. So here I was, with only one hour to spare, making a casserole for the netball club that I wasn't even going to eat, and a sponge cake for my mothers birthday, with tissues shoved up my nose so I didn't have to touch my face while I was cooking. It was inevitable that these germs were going to strike me down, I've been surrounded by them for over a week now and I'm surprised I have dodged them for this long.
Colds are such attractive things. The snot constantly dripping down your face, the red nose, the squinty eyes and the sneezing with your legs crossed incase you pee. Hubby-to-be walked in the front door, took one look at me, raised an eyebrow, and headed straight up the hallway to bath the kids. We were headed to my mothers house for dinner to celebrate her birthday. As much as I should have stayed home, I needed to get out of the house.
In the kitchen Miss H had grabbed the iPad and had random songs playing. Miss M was sitting across the bench watching me cook and mumbled a word i didn't quite hear, whilst looking me dead in the eye with a very pleased-with-herself smirk. 'Pardon darling?' I asked continuing to stir the onion.
'Fucking' she repeated looking rather smug. I froze, my eyes wide 'We DO NOT say words like that!' I scalded her. 'Thats a very naughty word and we shouldn't say it'. It was just then it occurred to me that the song playing at the time said exactly that!
We have been pretty lucky with miss M until now. She has never really sworn. She did have one episode when she was a bit older than two, where she very delicately marched herself into the lounge room announcing that 'I shit myself eberywhere in my pants', but other than that episode (when her parents completely lost the plot laughing and had no way if disciplining her due to the hilarious nature if the comment), nothing.
Both hubby-to-be and I tend to use swear words a fair bit. He is a tradesman who has difficulty separating 'work talk' from 'home talk'. I was brought up not swearing and after years of living with a concreter, I now sometimes believe I swear more than him! It just rolls off the tongue, adds so much more emphasis to what you are saying, and lets be honest, if you stub your little toe, the words 'poo' and 'darn' just don't cut it!! But hypocritically, I sat there saying 'we don't use these words'.... Umm yes WE do, but no SHE shouldn't. I don't believe there is any point in shielding my children from swearing anymore, it's everywhere. Even though they bleep it out from radio edits of songs, it's still there. It's on TV, Radio, and everywhere in the community. The rules for swearing in my house are like the rules for drinking alcohol; you can use it when you are old enough to use it wisely and in moderation!!!
Miss H (now eleven years old) only swore twice as a small child, both occasions quite entertaining, but still only twice. I still vividly remember the daycare ladies faces as I arrived to pick her up from daycare. One of the daycare workers approached me as i walked in the door and had a serious but slightly amused expression on her face. 'We need to talk' she said. I felt my pulse rise a little. 'Yesssss???' I said hesitantly. 'We had an incident with [miss H today]' she explained, and she began to tell the story. She explained that miss H had been on one of three tricycles pedalling around a circular path surrounding a garden bed. The children were only allowed to go in one direction around this garden bed to avoid crashes. They had been happily doing so until on of the boys had decided to get off his tricycle momentarily thus holding up the tricycle traffic. It was at this point miss H had climbed off her tricycle to investigate. Miss H at this age had a head full of blondey brown Shirley Temple ringlets and big blue eyes. One of the daycare ladies had spied miss H standing there with hands on hips and a scowl and sure enough the words that followed almost made her fall over 'would you fucking hurry up!?'. I looked at the daycare worker in the eye as she told me the exact statement she heard, she sat there looking me in the eye for a moment and then erupted with laughter. She continued to giggle, out of breath, then wiped her eyes. 'Im sorry!' She said still chuckling 'this is supposed to be a serious conversation because we can't have other children repeating it' she explained 'but oh my god, it was so funny' she started giggling again. I stifled my chuckle and assured the daycare worker that i would deal with it. Miss H was then taken home to the naughty corner for a small amount of time and it was explained to her that this is what would happen if she used these rude words again. I can honestly say it nipped it in the bud. Even though, at eleven, she admits to using the occasional swear word, she doesn't swear in front of me, or other adults, so I'm happy with that. She understands that people find these words offensive, and that it just makes her look like 'not a very pleasant little girl' to adults when try hear her speaking like that. There is however, something positively hilarious about a toddler using curse words in context. These tiny little beings trying so hard to be big people and using these very adult words in a sentence. But at the same time, it's how you handle it the first time that will make all the difference as to whether it will happen again.
It is quite unpleasant to hear adults using curse words, but some people are 'better' at swearing than others. It has always amazed me how hubby-to-be has a knack of slipping in a swear word, leaving the person he is speaking to standing there wondering if they heard correctly, or even not hearing it at all. He has a tendency to refer to people as a [adjective] c*nt, which when put into written language looks plain awful. But somehow he managed to slip it in and roll on with the conversation without even batting an eyelid. There is 'this C', 'that C', 'skinny C', 'fat C', 'silly C', 'funny C' and the list goes on. It's not even used as a derogatory term in most occasions but more an adjunct to the adjective. I remember one day when Miss H was quite small making a trip to the bank to speak to a loan officer about a personal loan to buy a car. We had just been redirected to a desk to speak to the loan officer, Miss H had picked the worst time to fill up her nappy and had stunk out one end of the bank. We joked our way through that in our introductions and then the conversations about loans got underway. The loan officer seemed lovely and must have been only about 10 years older than us so we thought we were in with a bit of a chance. So the conversation was then opened with 'so what can I do for you today?' So hubby-to-be started giving the details of our requirements. After this part of the conversations the loan officer queried a few of the details and hubby-to-be replied with 'we were discussing it the other day and this C... over here reckoned we should talk to you about it'. I held my breath and felt my face go bright red. The loan officer smiled and said 'ok no worries ill just go and grab you an information sheet and your file'. Did I just imagine that? I thought as I watched the loan officer stride off into the offices. 'I can't believe you just said that!!!' I hissed at hubby-to-be. 'Said what?!' He replied, looking bewildered. I told him what he said and his eyes bulged. 'Did I?!' He balked, and then cracked up laughing. I wanted to crawl under the desk!! How on earth he said that in that scenario without meaning to, and whether the loan officer even noticed, i will never know! Strangely enough we got the loan despite our pooey kid and potty mouths.
So hopefully miss M learned her lesson today, however this child does prove to be a little different from the others in her approach to everything. Yesterday for example the builders were here and using a nail gun which she found fascinating. The big bang made by the nail gun at one point sent her running squealing up the hallway screaming 'that scared the nuts out of my nuts!'.... Two points were made clear to miss M right then. 1) you don't have nuts, 2) whilst not a swear word its still not a very nice thing to say! The same miss M was found today in the back seat of the car talking bites from the air in front of her making loud chomping noises as she did so. When asked what she was doing she replied 'just eating the fairies'. By fairies she was referring to the glittering dust specs you see in a beam of light through a window. The logic of Miss M always leves me shaking my head. But very rarely without a smile on my face.