Waltz In Exile

31 July 2009, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Exile, P3 | Tags: , , , ,

You know the thing I’m discovering about motherhood? Those hard and fast rules I made for myself? Not really so hard and fast. I find myself changing my mind a lot, actually.

The latest example? My insistence on proper vocabulary and word use, which I really thought was a stellar idea:

Yesterday, Goat #2 found an old piece of sidewalk chalk and immediately demanded that I come outside on the front porch with her so she could draw a picture and I could watch her do so.

So I did.

She drew “half a circle, Mama” and I said “Very good.”

She drew “a slug, Mama” and I said “Very sluggy!” She giggled with me.

She drew “you, Mama, see your hair all sticking up?” and I said “Why yes, that looks like my hair.” And she giggled with me again, and said “I know.”

She drew “dis is Daddy” and I started to say “Very nice” — but she interrupted me to say “Oh, wait! I forgot!”

So I waited, while she added to her picture.

Finally, she stepped back and said “Dat’s his penis. D’you like it?”

Color me sorry I ever insisted on buying the “All About Bodies” book. Surely it’s inappropriate to say to a 4-year-old, even in this context, “Why, yes, I do…”?

Soliciting tips/hints/suggestions from more experienced Moms, or, well, ANYONE (I still haven’t answered her); leave ’em in the comments!


10 Comments so far
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The only thing I can think of through my laughter is you are probably best off if you don’t make a big deal of it. Whenever we were in a situation involving inappropriate behavior/language in Niecey at that age (and often still now) it was best to not have a strong reaction because if we flipped out she would do it ALL. THE. TIME! She thought it was hilarious to get any of us freaked out and the only way to get rid of it was generally to make a point of ignoring it (if possible).

This would be almost worth sending her back to the private school for (temporarily), can you imagine that psycho teacher hearing her say THAT! I mean if she felt Goat 2’s skirt was too short and was freaking out about that then I imagine she’d likely drop dead over a penis drawing, bwahahaha!

Oh and in the future perhaps buy books that are not quite as educational 😉

Comment by Karen

I don’t think there’s really a good way to answer goat’s question…

Maybe it was a one time thing, but if it’s not, let her know that that word isn’t appropriate for her to use and explain why.
(of course the advice comes from someone who doesn’t have spawn…)

Comment by Stephanie of Stopbouncing

It wasn’t so much her using the word “penis” (which, um, *I* taught her), it was asking me if I liked Daddy’s, LOL I couldn’t seem to find a way to answer her question because I was afraid if I overreacted and said “ACK! NO!” that she’d think I meant her drawing was bad…. but I figure “Yes, I like Daddy’s penis just fine” is coming back to haunt me in her future therapy sessions, you know?

Comment by waltzinexile

I think the diplomatic (and extremely passive) thing to say would have been, “I don’t dislike it.” However, you must know that I’m far less experienced (minus one child) than you, so my advice is not to be trusted or taken seriously.

Comment by Allison

Wow – I’m sorry I missed that. What did you say?

Comment by smalltownsmalltimes

“Ummmmmmm…….Hey!? Wanna play Play-Doh?”

Comment by waltzinexile

In addition to the fact that tergiversate is a great word, a great comment on the evolving realities of what information you have made available. LOL What you need is some nepenthe (another fave) to make you forget what all your great ideas were about her knowing all about the real details.

I confess I did the same with my three- the anatomically correct books were staples of early education.

The only correct response I can foresee- “Well, that’s daddy’s private place and I don’t think we should talk about it like that because it’s… private.” All with a gentle smile and then going back to why any child would think to draw mommy’s hair in anyway other than to suggest that it was perfect.

Let’s hope you won’t be thinking “Well, this is going to be very interesting when she draws her family at school….”

Comment by MarzieK

I’m not sure what’s more impressive: your exactly correct, “good Mom” answer…or the fact that you just ref’d the Odyssey in my comment section.?

I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be more concerned with the “good Mom” stuff than I am, huh?

Comment by waltzinexile

Nah, stick with the Odyssey. The good mom stuff will all come to you. And by the time you have it, you’ll have nerves of steel, a botoxed brow that makes you look serene no matter what she tells you, and deep questions about what people say children are so fulfilling… LOL

Comment by MarzieK

why- why people say…

Comment by MarzieK

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