Nakedness Dens and Food

My life with four little boys

From Bob The Builder to Booyakasha (via the washing up…)

on May 29, 2014

So, this week my husband and I were totally shamed into doing the washing up by our 8 year old son! No kidding. You see on the day in question we’d had visitors for tea the night before and had put a couple of grill pans and larger pots in to soak (you know, the ones that are really gross that you put “into soak” not because they couldn’t actually be washed up if you really tried, but in the vein hope that someone else will wash them up the following day…. Just me? Ok then. Moving on…). Following a lovely chilled out morning with the boys watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film* with the curtains closed and bowls of popcorn, Jacob went into the kitchen and came out with a serious expression on his face. “Don’t you think me and daddy should do the washing up now?” he asked with sincerity. “Because it’s gonna be lunch time soon and we could do with, y’know (and I’m quoting here), clearing the decks!” Before I continue I think I better clarify that we did indeed clear up our mess in the kitchen without relying on the help of our eldest son but it has reminded me how easily my boys pick up on and repeat back what is said around/to them. The exact same son has also come out with “just to make you aware…”, “I’m going to count to 3…” and “well technically…”. Then there is the time I told off son number 2 for talking to son number 3 in an angry way only to be retorted with “well, that’s how you talk to him sometimes!” I could say nothing because it is true. Son number 3 is particularly challenging which is what prompts so much of the “angry” talking evidently overheard by his brothers – probably the subject matter for a separate post but suffice to say here that it’s usually him you can rely on to come out with the swear words. Now I hasten to add that he doesn’t pick them up from his parents. In fact the other day Jacob told me that he and daddy had to take a break from building his lego set because daddy had told him he was in danger of “using some words that I’m not allowed to hear!” – Which I think constitutes good parenting.

When they started school I soon realised that I didn’t have complete control about the language that influences my boys and consequently what they repeated at home wasn’t limited to what they hear from us. With the rise of American cartoons into their stratosphere too, I sometimes wonder who it is that I can hear coming out of their mouths. And whilst I often know exactly who it is coming back at me (nothing like having kids to hold a mirror up to your behaviours) at other times they seem to be trying on all manner of other people for size, from best friends in the playground to the Almost Naked Animals (example of aforementioned cartoon if you’ve not had the pleasure) to some random American kid they have found on YouTube playing Skylanders. Currently I appear to be living with little people who frequently use all manner of phrases including, “pretty awesome”, “check out these guns (with accompanying strong man pose)”, “O maaaan”, “let it rip duck (American accent rather than Nottingham one… that would sound altogether different!)”, “so lame”, “riding on my warthog (no, I don’t know either!)” and “booyakasha (yes that is how you spell it apparently. I checked on the Ali G website. Yes I really did. You’re welcome.)”. It only seems yesterday that they were over-flowing with Bob The Builder catchphrases and taking immense pleasure in counting out loud down the stairs to practice their numbers. But these days they are more likely to be full of talk about “wedgies” and telling me to “give it a while” when they come out of the toilet (for which I blame their dad entirely for both the action and the accompanying language!). Oh where did my babies go? 😦 Now, whilst it comes as no surprise that my boys are little linguistic sponges, it still comes as a bit of a shock when they start experimenting with what they are absorbing. I can only hope that when these years of soaking up and filtering out are done and they finally emerge talking as themselves, Jacob at least remains just as keen on doing the washing up!

Helen -x-

(*Yeah on that… it’s actually quite a good film… you’d be surprised. Either having to share my life with so many boys has drastically changed my judgement, or it’s because after so many years of cbeebies it’s a relief to finally be watching something with a little bit more of a plot 🙂 )

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