Sunday, June 13, 2010

So wrong...

Playing Chuggington on the computer. Note the headphones and use of mouse pad...

I repeat: he is three. Is this the future?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The meaning of things

I keep forgetting how literal children are. Charlie hasn't the slightest idea about sarcasm, he doesn't really understand exageration or metaphor or parable or the difference between fact and fiction and this is making our poor boy very confused.

I recenty witnessed the breaking of one of his first fantasy bubbles when I gave him a tin of colouring pencils and he was awe-struck. "Wow!" he said "Magic pencils!!! Look Mummy, it will draw all by itself" and he proceeded to try to stand the pencils on their points so they could draw by themselves, the way they do on various children's art programmes. He was so let down, I felt like crying.

I'm learning slowly to watch my mouth for more than just swearing. The other night he was begging to play 'Chuggington' on my computer when he was already late for bed, so I said 'right, I'll cut you a deal, Chuggington and no stories, or stories and no Chuggington and he burst into tears screaming 'no cutting, Mummy, don't cut me!!!!'

It's led to a few interesting conversations, this total reliance on the meaning of words. When he talks about growing bigger, I often tell him that one day he might be bigger than me. I think he's worked this out to mean that he'll be a bigger version of me. A few weeks ago he started asking me why I don't have a willy. 'Because I'm a girl' I said. 'Girls don't have willies, only boys have willies. You're a boy, you have a willy. Daddy's a boy, he has a willy'. 'So' he said, after a moment of silence 'when I get big like you, I'll take my willy off'.

We've had a surprising number of 'when I take my willy off' conversations over the past few weeks, including one where he insisted that he didn't want to be a boy, he wanted to be a girl like his best friend and grow up to be a Mummy. I think this is less about gender confusion (he is only 3) and more about general confusion but one never knows (and I don't think we'll particularly mind either way). I do feel for the little spud though, it's obviously been really worrying him, wondering if his willy is going to be taken away at some point. He's now asking 'is he a boy?' 'is he a girl?' about nearly everyone and today appeared to be quite relieved that his willy is not detachable and that he will eventually become a man.

So, we're being a little more careful about what we say around him at the moment but one never knows when literalism might hit... today as we walked through the park the Frog shouted out to him as he wove through the grass eating his ice-cream 'Watch the dog poo Charlie!' and Charlie stopped and stood there, watching the dog poo.

Ah me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The shame, the shame...

We're off swimming in the morning. Oh yes I feel like a satisfactory sort of Mother, the type who takes a day off to be with her child and takes him to earnest and stimulating events. Last week for example we took the train to Reigate. The train! A real train for my trainspotter son. Then, then, we went to the transport museum for the fourth time this year and bathed in wheeled objects. My love for my son is clearly beyond question. Tomorrow we swim with friends, eat at a local cafe and then who knows... Brixton will be our oyster.

Oh yes, it's all lovely... the sort of day bathed in glowy 70s sunlight... until one considers our third wheel, our little tag-along pal, our unwanted stow-away... the hitch-hiker on the sole of his foot... Charlie's verucca.

It's one thing to go swimming with a group of friends and their three-year-olds, it's entirely another to do this while a verucca squats darkly on the sole of his foot, uttering threats and imprecations at the pristine pads of their little feeties.

I try to make light of it. I carry anti-bacterial gel and make them all wash their feet in it. And they're nice about it. But it's there. Lurking.

We've tried Bazooka which worked but burned him, now we're trying DJ's banana-skin cure... if that doesn't work then sadly we're in it for the long haul.

See you at the pool - bring your disinfectant.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

chocolate starfish

We're having swearing. I mean, proper swearing, the sort of swearing that he's heard on the bus, on the street and um in his house. Sometimes. I have been retraining myself in the art of swearing over the past six months and while 'Bumpers' is not really entering the vocabulary, 'botheration' works quite well. My default go-to swear though is 'crappity' which fills two swear-requirements in that it contains an actual swear word and is unrecognisable as such when fired off at top speed in front of a three-year-old with ear-drums the size of the sea of tranquillity.

Or so I thought.

Sadly it has entered life too late to prevent the 'f' word which is making frequent, shocking appearances in my son's speech. While I admit blame I cannot admit total responsibility having heard the word in his presence countless times in the past few days... outside his window, on the bus, while walking through the park and while standing in the queue to buy chocolate at the local shop. It's ubiquitous, everywhere and all I can do is disapprove and suggest he say something else... like 'poo' for example, which is both valid and funny.

The spud being no fool however has declined to make up a swear-word and would rather use one of mine. He demonstrated this ably today after dropping his fork at dinner. 'CRAB' he said, loudly and disdainfully. 'What?' I asked. 'Crab!!' he said, gleefully. 'Ah, CRAB! said I. 'What about starfish?' 'STARFISH' he said with relish. 'Chocolate Starfish' I said, and we both laughed.

I suspect I laughed a little bit longer.

Sad, isn't it?

Still, I think we're going in the right direction.