Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sometimes the hardest part is keeping a straight face

Baby Duck is enjoying school very much, thank goodness. He adores his teacher, has made some nice little friends and loves learning to read, since he’s a book lover from way back. Most days when I ask him how school was he says “lovely”.

But a couple of weeks ago I picked him up after a rainy, miserable day and asked him how his day was.

A look of disgust came over his face. “I had to go to the canteen at lunch time to pick up the lunch basket.”

I was a bit surprised that this wasn’t a high point of his day. Usually the kids love doing little jobs like that. It makes them feel important.

“Is that your job this week?” I asked.

He nodded. “Me and my friend went, and it was raining. We got wet.”

“Oh well,” I said, “it wasn’t raining that hard at lunch time.”

“But that’s not the worst part! We had to go all the way to the canteen in the rain” – he threw his arms wide, an outraged expression on his little face – “and there was only one bloody lunch!”

It’s very difficult to chastise a small person for inappropriate vocabulary when you’re trying hard not to crack up. But he’s never used that word before and it caught me by surprise. He sounded so absurdly world-weary, and the look on his face was priceless. I suspect my protests were unconvincing.

Note to self: Must try harder at this parenting thing.


  1. As the mom of a three year old, I can relate to your article.

    I really enjoyed reading your Baby Duck's use of inappropriate word. Sometimes, we just need to be there for them, to understand what they are feeling and maybe when they feel ready to listen, we can tell them our perspective.

  2. The worst part in this case was knowing exactly where he'd heard the word! My inadequacies as a role model come back to bite me when I hear my own language coming out of innocent little mouths. Must. Do. Better!