this week

Which parent doesn’t look forward to their child reaching various developmental milestones? Turning on to tummies, crawling, walking, babbling, waking up one morning to find them standing by your bed with a screwdriver in their hand and a glint in their eyes (ok, so may be the last one there was a milestone treat just for me). These are all magical moments that are to be treasured and duly noted in baby books. But once the ink has dried those warm, squishy feelings are replaced by cold, cold dread. For any parent will tell you that each and every one of your child’s milestones takes them one step closer to their evil machinations for complete and utter control over your life.
Take crawling and walking. Sure your child’s motor skills are developing but as a parent you can kiss goodbye those days of leaving them unattended for a few minutes on their play mat while you fix yourself a mid morning med icinal pick me up. And don’t be lulled into a false sense of happiness when your child tries to eat on their own. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to join you for civilised meals at the table, just that you’ll have to bec­ome expert at dodging curve balls of dal, rice and okra.
All this I have taken in my stride, shaken but not stirred. But my son’s latest advancement seems to have robbed me of one of my fundamental rights. Free speech. Ok, may be not free speech, but the right to use certain four letter words.
I realised this at a recent lunch in a friend’s home. Things were going well: there were no dry cleaning bills to offer to pay for and my son was the epitome of cute and cuddly toddler. And then out of nowhere, he said “Ah foch”. Four pairs of shocked adult eyes watched him. Happy to be the centre of attention my son tried out the word again. And then again. And again. And again.
My husband sent an accusing glance my way.
“What?” I spluttered. “I didn’t teach him how to swear in what seems to be a fake European accent.”
“A foch, foch, foch, foch.”
“Well he certainly didn’t learn it at nursery.”
“He could be trying to say fork. Or fox. Why assume the worst?”
Great, I thought. In addition to keeping all screwdrivers in a safe to rival Fort Knox and wearing a Biohazard body suit to brunch, I now had to watch what I said around my son. I would turn in to one of those mothers who used ‘fish’ and ‘sugar’ to give vent to their frustrations. How ironic that my son’s developing vocabulary meant that I would have to start whittling down on my own.
After the Fochgate incident, things were going along smoothly, my daily rants and outbursts peppered with enough ‘fish’ to fill the Pacific. My son’s potty mouth had been nipped in the bud.
And then as I brought him home from nursery last week, strapped in his buggy, my heart that was swelling with pride as he pointed out various colours and objects, filled with horror as we passed a Nigerian couple at the bus stop. My son looked at them smiled and shouted out “BLACK”.
All I could do was wince, hurry past them and mutter “a foch”.


6 thoughts on “this week

  1. LOL! My favourites from that age is:

    ‘Mama, dirty’ (said while pointing to a man in the lift with a skin condition)

    ‘My Mama also wearing diaper’ (saw me changing when Aunty Flo had come visiting and then proclaimed this in mixed company)

  2. LOL – we have suitably replaced that word with the word “inky”. There’s this driver on the bus who is such a PITA – we refer to him as the inky driver!! So the next time you hear me say “What a pity…”

  3. At 14 months we’re still at the furiously-pointing-and-saying-‘THAT!’-stage. Thanks for the advance warning, though (that’s why I make time to read this blog – it tells the truth, unlike those ‘What to Expect’ books).

    Better start shutting up now…

  4. Hahaha.. That is hilarious.
    My child(i forgot which one) once shouted in the mall, when she saw a lady in hijab..Monster.. She was 2.5 then!

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