Monday, 22 July 2013

Back to basics

Children will always find the ways to push the boundaries in some way.  If there is a rule, it was made to be broken.  If there is a tree that parents have said not to climb, the only thing for it is to find out by yourself why they said you shouldn't (as happened recently to one very swollen-faced little boy in our family who fell out of a tree and was luckily saved by catching his jaw on a branch on the way down).

I was speaking to the mother of a patient of mine the other day about this.  Her little one insists on making rude signs at people in the park.  She has no idea where he gets it from.  I comforted her by letting her know that mine are no different.  It's just the degree that differs.
 I came down the other day to find my two in fits of giggles as they wrote on pieces of paper on the dining room table.  It was those sorts of giggles that you know spell out "up to no good". One would write a word and the other would read it and chortle in a Dr Evil kind of way.  I was curious to see what was going on, so I went to stand closer.  What was written on the paper was "pardn mi" (pardon me).  Not very evil, you think.  however, there is a history to this. 

In our family, we have always been wary of using words like "fart" or "piss" in our conversations.  I just hate the words - they seem crass and unrefined to me, so I never say them myself.  With the result that when one of the boys broke wind early on in life, I told him to say "pardon me".  Somehow, they both just assumed that this was what it was called. From then on, that bodily function was called a "pardon me", and no one ever thought to change it.

Move forward several years, and there they were, at the dining room table, writing the rudest word that they could think of to write. "Pardn mi".  Laughing evilly all the time. 

And in the end, it turns out that their pushing the boundaries behaviour is just as subversive as any other child's - it just has different vocabulary.