I am Swearing-Mum

Last night, my Mini-Me said her first proper swear word.

Jeeeeeesus anyway,” she announced as she sat on the toilet.

Now, I know that children will copy what they hear, and I’m quite able to admit that I am no stranger to the odd expletive, but as a family, we do try not to use bad language in front of the kiddies.

Obviously, at some point, we’ve failed.

swearing kid

Not only did she pronounce “Jesus” quite beautifully; She used it in the same context that a grown up might.  She was frustrated (still no poopoo!). She was trying hard and getting nowhere.  She was exasperated and she knew exactly how to express it!

She also knew that it wouldn’t be acceptable, because those pretty blue eyes immediately darted to my face to see how I would react.  She was challenging Mammy.

We’ve been here before.  The first time she ventured into Bad-word-land was with “Shup-up”.  My reaction to that was an automatic scold.  “No!  We do not say Shut-up to Mammy.  That is not nice!”

The result? “Shuppy-up” is what she now reverts to if she wants to push Mummy’s patience.

This time, I was armed and ready. I did what any clever parent would do. I did the opposite of last time. I pretended it hadn’t happened and continued talking about Mr. Poopoo needing to go for a swim.

Not getting the reaction she wanted, she said it again…this time, more slowly and dramatic. (A born actress I tell you.)

Jeeeeeeeeesush.”

This time, I decided to take the bait, but on my terms.

Yes Honey! You saw Baby Jesus in the crib at Christmas! Aren’t you a clever girl?

This wasn’t what she’d anticipated in her brilliant toddler mind, but it seemed to work.  She began to talk about Christmas and Santa and her pretty dress and her Christmas Tree.  And so, I thought I’d won.

cursing

I thought that I’d done well.  I thought I was clever. I thought I’d distracted her and had taught her how to use the word properly. I’d turned the word back into what it is, rather than allowing it the status of swear-word.

That ‘Supernanny‘ doll should move into my house to see how it’s done.  I have it.  I’m in charge.

Smug and quite delighted with myself, I carried on with my evening. Husband would be so proud of how I dealt with the situation.  I’d be admired by friends with toddlers when I told them how to deal with their little Darling’s attempts to use bad words.  I might even win a prize of some sort.  I’d start giving lectures to parents on “Expletives and Toddlers: how to survive.”

Then I woke up.

Princess was throwing a strop.  She pulled off her Elsa dress and was screaming about her Tinkerbell Dress.  Whatever she wanted, I obviously wasn’t doing it.  It was one of those tantrums that began over virtually nothing and resulted in fire-alarm pitch screaming and stomping. She stormed into the hall…and suddenly, all of my smugness dissappeared…

BAAAABY JEEEEESUS ANYWAY!”

So, not only had I NOT dealt with this situation properly, I had given the little genius a way out.  A safe pass.  A golden ticket.  At only three years old, she had manipulated me and my words. What I’d actually done, was teach her how to use it, without getting into trouble.

I was gunked.  My jaw actually hit the floor.  I listened to hear if she’d say anything else.  She didn’t. She was waiting to hear my reaction.  She’s still waiting, because although I actually snorted with laughter, she didn’t hear me.  A few minutes later, she popped her pretty head around the corner. I carried on as if nothing had happened.

I know some people will be disgusted.  I know I shouldn’t have laughed.  I know it’s terrible that a child is able to use language like this.  But I also know, that sometimes, laughing is all we can do.

I’m not a psychologist.  I’m not a child specialist.  I’m not a genius.

I’m a mum.   I’m a mum who, once upon a time, thought smugly that my little girl would NEVER behave like that.  I’m a mum who is learning every single day. I’m a mum who will sometimes just laugh, because really, what other option do I have?

On a positive note, she’s learning. She’s testing boundaries.  She’s experimenting with language.  She’s establishing her little self in the grand scheme of things. And every day, I “Thank Jesus” that she can!

I am Swearing-Mum x

expletive

I am Silly Mum

imagineSilly Mammy!” I hear this daily. Sometimes it’s true.

I have found that since Mini-me suddenly turned from baby to toddler, that my inhibitions have pretty much diminished.  I went from thinking I didn’t care what people thought of me, to actually not giving a toss what people think of me.  It’s changed my life for the better and I owe it all to her.

I’ve always been a performer.  I’ve dressed up. I’ve worn ridiculous costumes.  I’ve danced ridiculous dances.  I’ve even stripped to my undies…but always in the safety of the stage.  My local theatre stage has allowed me to be dozens of different characters; the Liesl, the lady, the bitch, the hooker – and more times than enough, the blonde bimbo.

But no stage equates to the characters a Mummy can assume when raising a toddler!

At present, Mini-Me often assigns my character to me.  “Look Elsa!”  or “No Anna. I have to find Sven“.  Games that require the adoption of instant imaginary persona, are even coming more naturally to my Husband, who more often than not has to break into sporadic song, (whether he likes it or not!).

I’ve been every Disney Princess imaginable.  I’ve been an elephant.  I’ve been a spaceship.  I’ve been a mouse and I’ve been a scary monster. Whatever she wants me to be really.

greenwig

Today, I am Tinkerbell (apparently) as I am donning a green bobbed wig and am dressed from head to toe in green for our St. Patrick’s Day celebration at school.  I look ridiculous.  A part of me feels ridiculous.  I wouldn’t have dreamed of dropping her to childcare and driving to school like this a few years ago. I nearly didn’t this morning!

I can’t do this…can I?” was my first though when I looked in the mirror. Then, she bounced around the corner and her wee face said it all.  She grinned and announced “Oh Mummy! Your gween hair is boooootiful! SilleeeeMammeeeee!”…and so, feck it, it stayed on.

Yes, people are laughing at me.  I made quite a few students giggle and snort as I flounced to my classroom. I’ve had colleagues shake their heads, baffled…but people are smiling.  I decided to teach my first years Ceilí dancing instead of Poetry. They loved it. So did I. They think I’m silly (or crazy as one of them happily told me!).  So do I!

But I’m having fun and if nothing else, I might just be teaching some of them that standing out and being different is harmless. If they think it’s silly, good! If they think it’s fun, even better! If they don’t like the wig, they can ignore it. Some people will always be uncomfortable with fun.  There’s not really much we can do about that is there?

Mini-me has taught me how to play again. She’s teaching me that it’s OK to be silly.  It’s much more fun than being serious all the time.  I adore how she’s happy to wear her Elsa dress into town.  I admire how she smiles happily when people tell her she’s beautiful.  I love how she spins around when someone tells her that they love her dress.  My response to that is “Penneys best!”, automatically dismissing the compliment.

We don’t take compliments very well.  We don’t usually put ourselves in the spotlight… well, off the stage anyhow.  We dress as fashion allows, so as not to stand out too much.  We’ve forgotten how to be silly.

But we should be silly.  We should wear what we want.  We should sing at the top of our voices, even if it’s awful.  We should wear green wigs if the occasion presents itself. We should teach our kids to be who they want to be, how they want to be, and not to worry too much what people think of them.

She’s teaching me to be silly.  I’ll happily oblige!  It’s liberating.  It’s free and it’s fun!

And while, I’ll be teaching Shakespeare in about 20 minutes time and being very serious, I’ll also be wearing a green wig.  What my LC class make of that, is completely up to them.

Because today, I am indeed Silly-Mum! x

dress up

I am Showbiz mum!

Humpty Dumpty was pushed? We often hear debate about imagination. Are we responsible parents if we give our children an unedited, realistic and clinical outlook on life? Or are we fools if we immerse our little darlings in Disney, Santa Claus and fairies?  When should we give our children a reality check? When is too soon? Is there any harm in allowing them to believe image image in all things glittery and magical? Is reality prematurely injected into their lives with TV, Media…and sometimes the shitty reality of real life? Everyone has their own ideas and circumstances, but for this S-Mum, I’m all about the imagination and the happy ending.

Yesterday, I watched Mini-Me gazing into her Fairy Door (check out the Irish Fairy Door Company!) and singing to Fairy Rosie. The fairy door is a part of her daily routine. She talks to Rosie. She sings to her. She blows her a kiss every night. It’s cute and adorable, and I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

We all know that reality is unavoidable, but what’s wrong with a bit of make believe? I’m in my 30’s and love the fact that my parents have never yet told any of us that there is no Santa Claus. We figured it all out ourselves of course, but we keep the magic every year, looking forward to finding our Santa gift under the tree back at home when we visit…and long may it last!

The imagination is a powerful thing. As long as we, as parents, equip our little darlings with the skills they need to deal with reality, what’s the harm in them believing that good prevails and we can all live happily ever after?

Tonight, this big child begins her annual week of treading the boards of our local theatre, playing a big old game of “make believe” with my friends.  I’ll pretend to be a hooker from New York. We’ll sing.  We’ll dance.  We’ll laugh; and hopefully, we’ll bring our audience out of their own realities for few hours, into a world of true love and murderous, talking plants!

What’s the harm? No one will go home afraid that their plants will eat them. (Or will they?!)

After the curtain falls on Saturday night, we’ll wash off the make-up, go home to our own beds, wake up to our own worlds, play with our children, go to work and continue to live our own real lives…but we’ll have had a week to remember, playing make-believe and not hurting anyone, on the stage.

So yes, Humpty Dumpty did fall off that wall. Maybe he was smashed into smithereens. Maybe he was pushed, but in my head, he landed on a soft mattress and waddled off into a glittering sunset with Mrs. Dumpty… 💗😉 I am Showbiz Mum 😘