My daughter listens and immerses EVERYTHING that is said in her presence. She could be completely immersed in a discussion between her two Barbies that are deciding whether to go to the park or the newsagent (I know, why would a child of three be role playing about going to the newsagent right?), but you can bet your ass she is taking it all in. She takes in words and context and even the most careful of parents can become unstuck by their toddler who chooses the most hilariously inappropriate moments to repeat those things you utter under your breath when you think you are out of their hearing range.
I have suffered this embarrassment numerous occasions, as has my partner and we trade war stories of an evening when said daughter is peacefully sleeping. Like the time she got hit with a nerf gun and loudly yelled “Jesus” or the time in the grocery store when she didn’t get a lolly pop and said “Chrissake I never get ANYTHING.” Now we aren’t a religious family but it is mortifying to have her repeating the lord’s name in vain, clearly I need to stop doing it when I stub my toe, because I really do not want my daughter (or me) to offend anyone.
Thankfully the bad cuss words have not been repeated in public, but there are moments that you do want the ground to swallow you up. Whilst sitting down to our dinner the other night at 8pm (the only time of night we can enjoy our meal without questions, spills, toilet breaks or tantrums), my partner recalled a moment in the grocery store with our daughter that he was red faced.
You see, our beautiful daughter does tend to be a bit of an over sharer and decided to announce to her father (and the rest of the grocery store) that she had a “wedgie” and it was “itching” her bum. She then proceeded to very awkwardly pick at her bum.
Now, I am a mental picture kind of person, so at this point in the story I am laughing hysterically and holding my out of shape midsection from a welcome belly laugh but the description of my partners reaction to this incident had me almost falling off the chair.
I asked him, in between gasps of laughter, “what did you do?” and he said “I was dragging her along by the hand telling her to be quiet, and that we don’t say things like that” and the mental image that comes to mind are those pet owners that have animals that love to do their business on the middle of the footpath while their owners are attempting to drag them away by their leads mortified at their exhibitionist furry family members.
So here I am absolutely rocking with laughter at the image of my bum picking child being hauled along the grocery store by her very embarrassed Dad and I am grateful, grateful for the laughter in a stress filled life, grateful for the smile on my significant others face as he recounts the incident and grateful that my child is so oblivious to propriety that she continues to provide us with moments like these to make us laugh and realise what a blast parenthood is.
We need these stolen moments to giggle and reconnect as parents because the hard and trying moments come thick and fast so these stolen moments are the fuel to keep going, they are the realisation that you are comrades in the battle of parenthood and it is just plain good for you to have a laugh.