Is it just me, or do kids grow up a lot faster these days? My daughters (6 and 5 years old) know words that make me look like I was living under a rock at the same age.
“Mummy, I know the S word,” my daughter announced. “Stupid.”
“Mummy, I know the F word,” piped up my other daughter. “Fart.”
A few weeks later she said. “Mummy, I know the long F word.”
Here we go again, I thought. Fart, poo, wee, bottom – when will they tire of toilet humour? I awaited the word ‘farting’ to pop out her mouth, followed by a grin.
“Fucking hell,” she said.
My eyes became saucers and I forgot to breathe. Considering I don’t use the ‘F’ word at home – at least, not in front of my kids – I chose to blame the influence of older kids in the school playground. It turns out, she learnt it from an older friend; I wasn’t far off the mark. It did not prepare me for what followed days later.
“For the third time,” I said to my daughter, “put your toy away before dinner please or I’ll throw it in the bin. 3… 2…” The countdown began.
With a spin of her head and the flash of her hand, she stuck up her middle finger an inch from my face. “Rude finger!”
I didn’t bother telling her she was holding her hand up back-to-front.
Ten minutes later, after I had got over the shock, and she had spent time in her bedroom ‘thinking’, I sat her down. “Do you know what the rude finger means?”
She shook her head.
“Where did you learn it?”
“From you Mummy.”
I shook my head in disbelief. “But I don’t use the rude finger.”
“Remember one day when we were having afternoon tea? I was counting on my hand? I put up my middle finger. You said not to do that; it was the rude finger.”
Oh God! I never thought that would come back to bite me.
Then I remembered the time my daughter, at the age of two, dropped something hard on the tiled floor, looked up at me, and said, “Shit.”