I went to pick up my two-year-old from nursery school this morning. When I asked the teacher how things went, she gave me an odd look and said, “Well, he asked for beer again during snack time.” I stammered around rather awkwardly. “Um, wow, uh, I have no idea where that came from. We hardly ever drink!” She smiled politely. “He’s a real clown and is always saying things to make us laugh. Of course we can’t help laughing when he asks for that!”
That’s the problem. Two-year-olds come out with the funniest things, yet they’re also so inappropriate! I’m struggling to strike a balance between humour and sternness, and knowing when to treat something lightly or come down harder.
Besides making it look like his parents are raging alcoholics who feed their child beer, my son has also picked up some choice words that he heard his father use a few months back. His dad has since then made a concerted effort to stop using said words, but they seem to have engraved themselves in my son’s memory.
The first time, he had an accident in his pants. “Oh, cheese-chrys! f**k!” he yelled as we were cleaning him up. I was so stunned, I burst out laughing, but quickly turned my face in the opposite direction.
The second time, he said it when he dropped a toy behind the couch. I realized I had to intervene. “We don’t say that word in this house. Please don’t say it anymore.”
A couple of days ago, he came up to me and said it again, nice and loudly. I replied, “Hey, remember what I said? We don’t use that word.” He looked up at me angelically. “Daddy says it. Daddy says f**k!” I had to stifle my laughs. “Daddy shouldn’t say it. That’s not good.”
So now, he chooses prime opportunities to approach me and say, out of the blue, “We don’t say f**k, Mommy. We don’t say it!” All I can do is agree and change the subject. By drawing too much attention to a particular word, I’ve learned that the word becomes far more interesting to him than ever before!
But today he discovered the beauty of rhyming words, and wouldn’t you know, one of the books we read today contained a doe and buck pair. He was thoroughly pleased by the discovery of the latter, and proceeded to rhyme it with another -uck work that he knows. I tried to suggest other options (“How about truck? or muck? or suck?”) to no avail; I guess the letter F has a uniquely satisfying feel to it.
For now, I’m left hoping he doesn’t whip out the F-word at nursery school, because that will be just a bit too embarrassing to explain to the teacher. But then, maybe this is normal. I’m sure those teachers see a lot!
Any reassuring thoughts from other mothers with similar experiences???