As I sat down to lunch with the girls, they were happily eating their pasta, Bessie chasing hers around the plate muttering ‘Come here!’ under her breath as she hasn’t quite mastered the prodding action of her fork, Alice looked at me directly, a beautiful sunny smile on her face and said ‘I’m stupid mummy.’
I was horrified. I have NEVER referred to either of them as stupid before and I immediately set to with ‘No Alice, you’re not stupid? to which her reply was again ‘I’m stupid mummy’ angelic smile on her face. Needless to say Bessie saw all the commotion, left chasing her pasta for a minute and tried the word for herself ‘My stupid too!’ she piped up enormous grin stretching from ear to ear.
It was clear they had a new word to try out and try it they did but once the novelty had died down they forgot about it..until next time that is.
I can’t remember ever using that word in front of them in such a context, ie calling someone stupid, not even my other half when he clearly has been… I only do that when they are in bed :) So I imagine they picked it up playing at one of the toddler groups we go to, where they have loads of fun and I wouldn’t dream of not taking them for such an incidence but it does go to show that by mixing with other children, some of whom have older brothers or sisters, some of whom have started pre-school we are opening ourselves up for a whole new vocabulary here. Don’t get me wrong, contrary to popular belief I am not an angel and every now and then I have been known to come out with some unsavoury words myself and I cross all fingers on both hands, eyes pleading the clouds and pray the girls didn’t catch the word. It does happen and I immediately regret my slip of good-mummyness but like it or not we shall be mixing with loads of new children as of September at pre-school and our lives are going to be filled with a whole new load of experiences as we follow our ‘babies’ on their new path.
It is quite worrying, they are good girls. They aren’t aggressive and they’re bound to come across some aggressive behaviour at school. They are well-behaved, and they’re bound to come across bad manners, answering back, general misbehaviour too which will make our parenting all the more challenging I can only imagine. I don’t think it’s gender related and I don’t believe it’s ‘class’ related either as much as I hate to use that word in such a context but sadly it exists. There is a huge part of my heart that would like to keep them close and ‘safe’ from the bad society but that is not conducive to growing up and learning to accept others, learning to live with others and interact with them.
I was blessed when bringing my older two up as we lived in a small community, everyone knew everyone, there was the ‘rule’ of the village and we all looked out for each other and kept an eye on all the kids as a whole. It was a good system and I can see quite clearly via Facebook that most of the then children are still all friends today but that clearly won’t work here in the UK. I realise I’m going to have to play this one – one day at a time and trust my girls to recognise good from bad as they start their journey through life.
How did you survive or how are you coping now?
Photo credit – Matze_ott