Saturday Observation (or… How Young Children are Like Politicians)

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Young children, particularly preschool and kindergarten aged children, are a lot like fanatical Conservatives.  It doesn’t matter how much science or logic you hit ’em with; they are determined to keep believing whatever is their current chosen reality.  My daughter will not be swayed by the “facts,” and is determined that someday she will “grow little again” and once again be able to use her training potty.

Much like politicians, the apologies of young children mean nothing.  They should basically all have little paper signs taped on their backs that read “hashtag #sorrynotsorry”, because the only time you will get an apology out of them is when they have been caught doing something wrong, and they only apologize to mitigate consequences.  In other words…they totally don’t mean it.

Likewise, try getting a direct answer about even the simplest thing. If you try to get a young child to admit to anything that could even maybe, possibly, conceivably be interpretted as something that could get them in trouble, suddenly, you get complete silence… and maybe this face:

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And no matter what you say, they just stare at you with that patient deadpan look that says, I can do this longer than you…

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Or, maybe you get that look that’s one part stubborness and one part vacancy, all parts infuriating… that look says they don’t know shit, they ain’t saying shit!

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If you can tease an answer out of them at all, young child doublespeak is about as confusing as a Lark Voorhies interview. You end up feeling baffled, and like you’ve been conned, but you’re not quite sure how.
The fact is, my five year old could probably drive me to drink the way she talks circles around me, and not with actual logic or anything, but just good old fashioned gaslighting.  Or, to use another geometric-shaped metaphor, her explanations tend to be extremely elliptical.  A conversation will go something like this…

ME:  You know you spilled juice on the floor?

J:  Hmm?

ME: You spilled juice on the floor.

J:  I spilled juice on the floor (a statement.)

ME:  Then why didn’t you clean it up?

J:  Because I spilled the juice on the floor.

ME: (trying to keep my voice even)  I know you spilled the juice, cuz I just stepped in it.  But if you knew you spilled it,  why didn’t you tell me so I could clean it up?

J: (matter of fact) I didn’t know I spilled it.

ME: (face is probably getting red…)  You just told me you knew you spilled it.  Did you know or didn’t you?

J:  I didn’t know.

ME:  Then why did you tell me you knew?

J:  I didn’t know.

We can go round and round like this, and the end result is usually her deciding on an answer and sticking to it, and me giving up in frustration and feeling like a bully for trying to badger the truth out of her.

As is often also the case with politicans, you can end up leaving a conversation with a young child, unsure whether or not even they know just what the hell is really going on.

Tonight I asked the five year old if she wanted to share the last piece of chocolate cake with me.  She said, no, and she asked her Daddy to make her some chocolate milk.  But he told her we were out of chocolate syrup…so she turned to me and said, “Can I have some chocolate mi- [ me giving her the look that says ‘ask me, I dare you’…]”

And she says …”cake?”

Related: Conversations with My Two Year Old

Things said in homes with children

Sometimes, as a parent, you say things you never thought you’d say.  You say them without thought…and then you pause…  Did I just say that?  Did that just come out of my mouth?

Sometimes it’s pretty straight forward, something that is common sense for most adults, but needs to be spelled out for a child.  That doesn’t mean it’s not still hilarious that you actually have to utter the words:

“Please don’t shoot peepee all over the floor…” 

…to a girl…

And then there are the offhand remarks that, upon a moment’s consideration, sound horrifically inappropriate without a frame of reference.

J* got a Mr Potatohead for Christmas from my dad and stepmother. (Yes, I know it’s early yet;  Gifts came in the mail, we opened ’em!)  If you haven’t seen the “new and improved” version of Mr. P, he has pants now, and a nifty little trap door in the back to hold some of his spare parts. It opens up kinda like the button downbutt-flap in those weird, old skool pajamas. It’s that dang little compartment that led to my  ruination  moment of pause today, as I told my three year old,

Here, put the tongue back here in his butt so you know where it is the next time you want it.

For those of you who still feel you need an explanation, how about a pictorial?

What I was thinking when I said it...

What I was thinking when I said it…

What it sounded like...

What it sounded like…

Parents, hit me up with some of your best “Things said in homes with children…”

“Dogs are not kids.”

Becoming a mom has definitely changed me.  I’ve never been a kid person.   But my kid is fucking awesome!  

And now I am noticing something I hadn’t really noticed until I started posting on social media and reading comments on articles online; when the topic of kids comes up, it’s amazing how many people are hateful about children!

This morning, I saw this article on things parents shouldn’t say to non-parents.  If you don’t wanna read the whole thing, I’ll just outline the points.

1) “Dogs are not Kids”- based on the premise that the people that always compare their pets to our kids actually do know this.

2) “You think you’re [insert anything here]? Try having kids!”  Okay, I get what they’re saying about playing down others’ feelings, but if I’m exhausted from being up with my sick child, I don’t wanna hear about your post bar-hopping hangover woes.

3. “Don’t worry, when you have kids you’ll…”  Firstly, the author is insulted that parents assume everyone wants kids.  I definitely agree that’s not the case, and it does sound a bit condescending…

4. “Is the party kid-friendly?”  I don’t see what the big deal is with this one.  The author posits that unless you and your friend have a tacit understanding that your kids are always welcomed, you should assume they’re not.  I personally think it should be the other way around.  You call yourself my friend?  Then you’ll know chances are that I prefer to do things with my husband and child rather than without.  Common sense.  At any rate, why should even asking this question be discouraged?  By being insulted by the mere question, you’re just opening the door for miscommunication.

5. “My life didn’t have meaning before I had kids!”  The author seems to assume this statement of personal feeling implies something about their life without children.  To which I say, if that’s how you feel, the problem is with you, not me!  I have not ever personally uttered this phrase because I don’t feel my life was meaningless before, just that it has more meaning now.  But if I was to say it to a non-parent, it would not be to infer that I think their life is consequently meaningless, it would just be a statement of how I felt.

A couple of weeks ago I ran across a question on Yahoo! Answers asking people what they thought of a restaurant that banned kids under 18 (not a bar, a restaurant.)  Almost without exception, the “answerers” were either under eighteens who felt this was insulting and discriminatory, and responses like “This is a great idea!,” full of inferences that if a person had an upset toddler they couldn’t possibly  be a good parent.  Let me tell you guys a secret…

I used to feel this way. 

But– and you may not want to hear it– this IS one thing you can not know until you have your own kid… no matter what you think you’d do, or how you “plan” to be with your kids (should you wish to have them,) it is subject to change; you never really know what you’ll feel comfortable doing until you have to do it.  I always thought if my kid acted up, I’d just bust her ass the way my mom did my sis and I when we were kids.  We aren’t “emotionally scarred” (not much anyway.lol.)  But now that I have a daughter, I find myself loath to lay a hand on her in anger.  It’s just not how I want our relationship to be.  I’m not the same disdainful towards kids person I was before.  

And the fact is that some people seem to forget that children are people too.  They have feelings and thoughts and needs, and often not the maturity to frame them properly.  And yet, by the way some adults behave, that sometimes never changes.  Some people forget that they were kids once too.

At any rate, where’s the list of things that childless people shouldn’t say to parents, like telling us how to raise/discipline our kids, and or (#1) comparing their dog to our kids?  My cats and dogs have always been like family to me, my furry kids.  But…they do not require the same time, attention, or responsibility as a real child.  Deal with it.

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Ha! Joke’s on you! My kid already knows how to swear!

  • Parents (meddlesomeness.wordpress.com)

Monday Morning Mortification!

Considering my and my husband’s potty-mouth, I take full responsibility if Darling Daughter pops off with the F- bomb…   It’s not ideal, but it’s to be expected.  That is to say, we know where she learned it when I carelessly swear at a video game or something and she immediately parrots me.  Sometimes it’s even a little funny.  (And if you’ve never had to fight a laugh while chastising your kid,  maybe you need to lighten up some…)

But this morning Hubby told me something that mortified us both, and we’re both honestly puzzled as to where DD learned it.  He was changing her diaper this morning and she pointed to her private parts (which is exactly how I refer to them if I have to talk to her about them) and said “pussy.”

WHAT?!

Are you sure that’s what she said???

Yeah, that’s what she said…

That is not a word that gets regular play around this household.  There are some words even I, in all my profane glory, find distasteful.  It’s not generally a word that gets said in front of the baby unless we are talking about cats!   So how…in the hell…did she learn it in connection with genitals?

I’m going over it in my head… who else does she see on a regular basis? (hardly anyone.)  She doesn’t go to day care or pre-school, so she didn’t learn it there.  Even if we watch TV shows with cursing in them, they’re generally not pornographic…  So how did she link that word and that body part?

I didn’t actually hear the aforementioned nasty word myself, so, regardless of what hubby says, for the moment, I am going to assume either he misheard her or she wasn’t saying what he thought she was.  It’s better for my peace of mind.

Any other parents out there have similar experiences with their kids learning strange things from I don’t know where?

Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses

Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses

“Uck”…Uggghhh

And the Parent of the Year award goes to…

While I won’t be winning any awards this week (or singing “We Saw Your Boobs,”) I’m also sure I’m not the only parent that still has a potty-mouth.  I know a lot of people feel that they won’t change when they have kids.  Well, for obvious reasons, if you don’t change at all– even if in just a few very fundamental ways– you’re probably a dick who shouldn’t have had kids in the first place.  You put your children first, you love them unconditionally, you are more fiercely protective of your child then you have ever been of anything or anyone else…ever.

Some people maybe do a 180–  they fall headfirst into the mommy or daddy role (perhaps much to the chagrin of their single or childless friends.)

Aside from that, some people change very little.  They generally enjoy most of the same past-times (even if they don’t get to enjoy them as often,) they probably still dres,s the same, act the same… speak the same.

Yep… I have always fervently defended my right to curse.  I usually temper it slightly depending on company, but for the most part, I iz me, and me cuss a lot!   You can deny it all you want, but in my opinion, saying “schizzle-nitz!” or whatever, when you crack your little toe on the coffee table at night just does not help you feel better comparable to an explosive “Fuck!”  I also maintain that you’d have to say “shit” three times to get the relief of one good “fuck.”

But anyway… so my daughter J* is picking up words pretty rapidly now…new words every other day.  And a still lot of that toddler jabber that only she understands.  On occasions, hubs and I have heard things that sound suspiciously like curses, but as they are often apropos of nothing in particular, we really just can’t be sure…

Is she saying “shit,” or “sit?”  in toddler-lisp?

I guess you all know where this going…

Last night, I was playing Resident Evil.  Hubs and J* were each doing their thing.

Something annoying happens in the game; I probably got grabbed or knocked down but some gooey, deformed something-or-other.  And I hissed, “Fuck!”

And like an echo, I hear off to my right, “Uck!”

Hubby and I look at one another– we’ve probably been in denial until now– and he says gently to J*, “Don’t say that word,baby.”

I add, “That’s a big girl word.”

And hubby amends “That’s a bad mommy word.”

*glare*

Well…we have no one to blame but ourselves…  we curse a lot.  I’d almost say we like to curse.  Some people will get all snooty and say cursing is a sign of someone with a weak vocabulary.  I assure you, that’s not the case here.  My vocabulary is fine…better than fine, I’d wager (but to you Pious Pollys, thanks for your concern over my alleged impoverished vocabulary and its implicit reflection on my morality.)

But anyway…  it got me thinking about the concept of curbing my tongue again.  I’m rather fond of something my step-grandfather used to say– “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Are you going to go to bed at 7:30, just because your kid has to? No, because you’re the adult.  Does setting a good example mean you can’t have a candy bar before dinner because your child can’t? No, because you are the adult, and you know you’ll still eat your dinner.  Kids can’t drink, adults can.  If you have friends over for a game of cards or Sunday football, are you not going to have a beer because your kid can’t and you “want to set a good example?”  Not likely.  And as long as you’re not raging drunk, there should be no issue with that.  Well, you get the point.

However, I’ll not deny the merit of setting good behavioral examples.  And I plan to set a good example for my child—  kindness, compassion, fairness, (kindness to animals,) respect for elders, manners (holding doors, offering seats, tolerance, etc.) are all things I hope she learns by my and my husband’s examples.

Some might argue that language (particularly foul language) is a behavior.  And maybe I’m a hypocrite because I yelled at my neighbor for saying the N-word in front of my kid.  I guess I do draw the line somewhere.  She is two and while it may be embarrassing to hear her repeat the F-word, the N-word is not something I want her repeating.  No one should say it.  And I’d rather have people thinking I am uncouth by cursing around my child, than a racist twat.  After all, where would they assume she learned that word, if not from being around others who say it?

So I suppose, like anything else in parenting, your decisions regarding “cussing” in front of your kids is fairly relative or subjective.  All parenting decisions are personal so long as the child is not in physical or emotional danger.

I’m curious though–  to my fellow potty-mouth parents (or those with similar vises that we might not want our toddlers mimicking) …what are your tactic for dealing with the dreaded “Uck!”

Turkish Woman Beheads Rapist…right on

Note to my readers: While I realize this woman’s name and photo are now a matter of public knowledge, out of respect for her and other victims of sexual violence, I have refrained from mentioning her name or posting her picture.  Thank you.

A 26-year-old Turkish woman, who was impregnated by her rapist, reportedly shot and beheaded her alleged attacker to protect her honor. ~ Huffington Post    Continue reading