Friday, 9 November 2012

Kids say the darndest things

Kids say the darndest things
9 November 2012

Kids say the darndest things.  They really and truly do.  They have an amazing ability to, with a few choice words, reduce grown-ups and in fact anyone in their vicinity into melting puddles of pathetic-ness.  They are brutally honest.  They lack in sensitivity and are able to get to the crux of a matter in a very direct manner.  And as mentioned before, with a few succinct words, they can cut through the crap and get right to the heart.  They don’t have a filter and what pops up in their head, simply spews out through their mouth.  Us adults sometimes get so swept up in being overly correct and diplomatic.  But kids go where angels fear to tread.

And marvellous though this honesty is, it can be particularly painful, especially if you’re the focus of it.  This morning, on our way to school, a very sweet gentleman was handing out leaflets.  I simply always take one, no matter what they advertise because I feel so sorry for them just standing there.  So this morning’s little ad of the day, was a request for volunteers to try out a new and revolutionary diet product, promising guaranteed weight loss.  Well, I was like a sitting duck for Amber.  With one glance at the pamphlet, she took it from my hand and exclaimed excitedly “Wow, Mommy, so are you going to call them and try it?”.  Gee, thanx Amber!  Why don’t you tell me how you really feel.  Perhaps once I’ve been able to pry the knife from my back, I’ll get around to making that phone call.  Hrmphhh!!!

And then there was the time that I made us a lovely and delicious meal for supper.  A masterpiece if I say so myself.  Roast chicken, rice and yummy gravy, cauliflower and cheese sauce, roast potatoes and peas.  And then, on the spur of the moment, shortly before calling everyone to come and eat, I decided to add a little salad.  But once I checked the contents of my fridge, the only salad ingredients that I had at my disposal were cucumbers and tomatoes.  Oh well, I thought.  A little diced tomato and cucumber salad will be fine.  It will add a bit of colour and go down well.  And then when we sat down at the dinner table to eat my proudly prepared meal, Amber took one look at the salad and raised her eyebrows.  She looked up at me with disbelief and said “Do you call this a salad?”.  Well, my mouth literally fell open.  And while I was still trying to pick my jaw up and look for a blunt instrument with which to whack her (I don’t do cheeky), she said to me without missing a beat “This salad only has three ingredients (at this stage I was calculating like mad, because there clearly were only two ingredients) – tomatoes, cucumber and disappointment”.  I think I sat down with buckled knees, opening and closing my mouth and doing my best fish impression.  I truly couldn’t believe it.  She hadn’t missed a beat and spent no time formulating her little comeback.  It just shot straight out of her mouth.  However will I deal with her as a teenager, if she could say this to me at 9 years of age?

Cole has also dropped me in the dwang every so often.  You know how they can point and loudly whisper – “look at that fat lady/funny man/ugly shirt/weird hair”, etc.  Truly embarrassing and with a very high cringe factor involved.  As a very little boy, we went shopping together once and we got a few goodies at PNA.  And as we got to the counter and the cashier helped us, Cole looked her straight in the eye and said, "you’re a sexy lady".  Awkward!  And then there was the time he told me all about how hot his friend’s mom is.  Rather inappropriate I thought, as he was only about four at the time.  In fact his words were “Bryce’s mom is really hot”.  Look, the boy’s got taste, because Bryce’s mom is a hottie and is always beautifully groomed, but I still found it an odd thing for a little boy to say.  I clearly needed to get to the bottom of this.  So, I asked him very innocently “Why is Bryce’s mom so hot my boy”.  To which he replied very nonchalantly (as if to say, “Uh duh”) – “Bryce’s mom is hot because she wears lipstick”.  Right, so that sorts that out.  Clearly I don’t wear lipstick.  Wonder where Cole gets his babe tips from?

Even my very prim, proper and polite Luke has dropped the odd clanger.  When I still had my Toptots Franchise, I had a client who brought her young daughter to me for classes.  But every so often she brought her very rowdy, very busy and in actual fact quite destructive older child along as well.  He was a sweet little boy, who clearly needed help channelling his excess energy.  He would storm through my house, jumping on the couches, opening doors and drawers, running around, screaming and shouting, pulling things off shelves and just cause chaos in general.  He ran completely wild.  And for the purpose of this story, let’s call him John.  So, one day, in exasperation and frustration I was bemoaning the mother’s lack of discipline and control over her child to Grant.  To which my darling husband, also at the end of his tether, because we had already suffered a few incidences of breakage due to this child, said that “John is a poephol”.  I know, really uncalled for and very badly put.  Perhaps he was even speaking a bit out of turn, but clearly he was slightly irritated and also frustrated.  And truth be told we all clearly knew that the person lacking in discipline was actually John’s mother and not poor little John.  And then one day in class, I had little Luke with me for the day, as I usually had.  And on this occasion wild boy John was also in tow when his little sister came to class.  And true as Bob, the first thing my little Luke said when he saw John, was “John Poephol”.  Jeez, I nearly died and had to do a bit of quick thinking on my feet.  So, without missing a beat, I quickly replied “No, Luke.  John’s shirt is not purple, it’s red”.  Repeating it over and over and trying to gloss over Luke’s tell-tale clanger.  I really very nearly died.  Luckily it worked and nothing was said, so on this occasion at least, I managed to pull it off.  But probably just and by the skin of my teeth too.

But probably one of my worsts, was on Luke’s 3rd or 4th birthday party.  Luke was at Chatterbox playschool at the time and I had asked him in advance which of his friends he would like to Invite.  My kids love being involved with their party planning.  So, all of the little guests were invited, the party day arrived and everyone had a marvellous time.  And then when it came to home time and all of the friends were leaving, I hovered close to the door, thanking people for coming and for their gifts.  And naturally Luke was also close by so that he could also say goodbye and thanks to his buddies.  One mom and her little boy Joshua came over as they were about to leave.  And as we were doing all of the farewell pleasantries, Luke tugged on my shirt, looked me straight in the eye and said in a very loud, very piercing little voice “this is the wrong Joshua – I wanted the other Joshua to come to my party”.  Embarrassing beyond belief.  I believe I looked daggers at Luke to which he replied again “What Mommy?  This is the wrong Joshua”.  KIDS!!!

These are just the mere tip of the iceberg.  My kids have left me mortified on many an occasion.  Now having their little verbal volley’s directed at me, is one thing, but it’s those poor unsuspecting “strangers” out there.  It’s them I really feel sorry for you.  All one can hope for is that they are also parents.  Because fellow parents understand – it’s happened to them too.

And if I’m being 100% truthful, the fact of the matter is this – no matter how embarrassing and awkward at the time, reminiscing about these little faux pas’ afterwards is always fun.  But then again, I suppose you have to have a sense of humour for that.  And luckily for me and them, I have loads of humour.  Because without the humour you simply can’t survive the parenting thing. 
I simply wouldn’t change my kids and their big mouths for the world.  They bring me too much joy!


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