My photo
Utah, United States
One night while tucking Abby into bed she sweetly chimed, "good night! Sleep tight! Don't let the bed bites bug you!" I like her thinking. Sometimes life bites. The trick is to not let it bug you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Out of the Foul Mouths of Babes

One of my favorite new TV discoveries is the BBC series "Outnumbered," airing weeknights at 10pm on KUED in Utah. It is the most realistic comedy I've ever seen about what it is like being a parent, and I understand that the show includes quite a bit of improvisation. I'm sure the episodes we are getting aired in Britain 2-3 years ago, but I completely identify with every single one. The issues of parenthood are timeless.

A recent episode showed mother Sue on the phone with her son's school teacher. We only hear one side of the conversation, Sue indicating that her son "doesn't know words like that...(pause)... well, he knows that one... (pause)... and that one..."

Yesterday I pulled up to the school to pick up one of my youngest, only to have the teacher approach my window to let me know he had led his table in a group display of an inappropriate digital gesture. (Groan.)

The teacher indicated that he hadn't participated, but that it was "his idea." We appropriately scolded him, but he has been tearfully insisting that it was actually the idea of another kid. Whatever the case may be, I'm sure he has no idea what the gesture means.

I do know he likes attention, though, and loves to be the clown making everyone laugh, including himself. His mischief is punctuated by his giddy aloofness, not deviousness. Even now, I am listening to his happy-go-lucky voice, half singing, half narrating his imaginative solo play in the backyard. I remember being a little like that myself as a kid, no clue that silly mischief could possibly have a deeper, highly offensive meaning.

So, somehow I need to figure out how to convey to him that naughty gestures and words ARE highly offensive, and not an appropriate way to make people laugh.

Then he comes and wants to tell me all about the amazing Sesame Street animal segment he just watched about the "aardfart." (Provoking my immediate laughter. I am clearly part of the problem here.)

This is going to be a long process.


Krista said...

Oh Karen, too funny. I still remember that first dreaded phonecall from the school where you just brace yourself for what they're about to tell you. They called to informe me that my son had broken a school window! UGH! Sure, I was upset, but I couldn't help but laugh a little bit while thinking, "So it begins!"

Krista said...

One more comment...A primary story. A friend had a very precocious 3 year old, so when the primary president noticed him behaving reverently (for once) she thought I need to praise him for his good behavior. She immediately called him up to the front, thanked him for being so good and asked him to show all the other children how to be reverent? But instead of folding his arms, he raised both hands and flipped everyone the double bird! Some of the teachers were laughing so hard they had to leave the room to regain their composure! I'm sure he had no idea what he was doing and his dad was a member of the bishopric! I'm sure he didn't learn it at home! :)

Karen said...

Oh my gosh Krista- that Primary story is hilarious. Heaven help me- I haven't had to deal with too many disciplinary probs with my kids so far, but I think the younger ones are going to give me a run for my money!