Thursday, April 28, 2016 Permalink

I was babysitting Pickle, my favourite 4yr old recently. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a sucker at bedtime… always extending the agreed 2 books into 3 or 4 and perhaps a made-up story or two.

I’d already heard about that week’s daycare incident. My friend had been unhappy at the events but mentioned she had to try not to laugh when Pickle went into detail. So I should have been prepared….

We were in the midst of a story involving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when Pickle mentioned another boy in daycare. The pair are a bit like teenage girls – either besties or mortal enemies. I gather this other child is a bit of a handful because when I’m ‘making up stories from my head’ Pickle offers suggestions about this boy (we shall call Jeremy) stealing things and hurting people.

He grabbed my arm to get my attention. When he had it he looked at me dolefully. “Jeremy bullied me,” he said.

“Oh,” I said. “That’s not very nice. What happened?” I was mostly distracted, my attention still on the TMNT book and others to come and the fact it was an hour past his bedtime.

“He called me a rude name,” said Pickle.

Ah-ha. Then I remembered his mother telling me about the incident.

“What did he say?”

“I can’t tell you,” Pickle told me earnestly, “Because it’s a bad word.”

His huge eyes were pools of innocence, looking up at me. This was serious. He looked devastated.

A beat or two passed.

“I can whisper it to you once,” he told me. And I agreed with equal seriousness.

He moved in and his mouth tickled my ear.

He called me duckhead.

I should have been prepared. I knew this story. But I really had to stop myself laughing. Like his mother I pondered on whether Pickle got the name mixed up, or if it was Jeremy his bestie/nemesis, who was confused.

From wikipedia

From wikipedia

And, as importantly… was the ‘d’ an accidental substitute for the ‘f’; or the ‘u’ in place of the ‘i’?

“Oh, that’s not very nice,” I responded. Seriously. Of course.

“No.” Pickle was shaking his head looking mortified. Possibly ashamed at having to share this with me.

“What happened next?” I asked.

“I told him, ‘My name’s not Duckhead, my name is Pickle,'” said Pickle. Whose name’s not really Pickle but includes a ‘th’ which he pronounces as ‘f’ so it’s really cute.

Again… earnestness by the truckloads.

“And what did he say?”

Horror on Pickle’s face as he recoiled from my question. As if stung.

“He called me Pickle-head!”

Oh dear… the evilness of young boys… #not.

“Well, that’s not too bad is it?” I was a bit confused. I don’t have kids. Surely there’s worse things to be called. Fat? Ugly? A control freak? Narcissistic?

Pickle was shocked at my blitheness.

“Yeeessss,” he said.

I then remembered I was the responsible adult in the conversation and not just someone considering fodder for my blog and we talked about bullying and name-calling and telling teachers or avoiding naughty boys and the like.

I should mention that I’m not trying to dismiss bullying or name-calling. But still…. It WAS kinda funny. Surely?

Do you have any accidentally-entertaining tales of woe to share?

  • Bec
    April 28, 2016

    Well I think it’s pretty funny too, but then, I don’t have kids either. It’s a minefield, that children/mummy area, and there’s only one thing for certain: whatever anyone says about kids, there will be a duckhead out there disagreeing!

    • Debbish
      April 28, 2016

      Lots of good blogging fodder (as a parent) though I suspect!

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    April 28, 2016

    Haha. Poor Pickle. He must adore having you read him stories. I have kids come to me and say that so and so said the “C” word. The first time I freaked out until I realised they meant ‘crap’.

    • Deborah
      April 29, 2016

      D’oh! I can understand your confusion Michelle. And surely crap isn’t a swear word?!

  • Sarah @ sarahdipity
    April 28, 2016

    I love having conversations with little kids, they come out with the most hilarious things without meaning to!

    • Deborah
      April 29, 2016

      Yes, very true Sarah. It’s kinda sad that innocence is lost as they / we age… but I guess we supposedly gain other attributes!

  • Jo
    April 29, 2016

    Very funny…

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
    April 29, 2016

    I have kids (including one in that age range) and that’s hilarious! I don’t really consider that bullying (though I’m not dismissing it either) because they ARE friends one moment and then they’re not so it’s more just arguing. There is always that one friend that you hope moves or is at least in a different class next year because they’re far more drama than they’re worth! At that age any name is bad. I have no idea why. Sometimes it makes absolutely no sense but they’re just as upset as they would be if it was something really awful though of course they don’t really understand what’s really awful so there’s that. We had to have a discussion with the Tornado that calling people fat wasn’t a good thing. He totally didn’t get it because he doesn’t see it as a bad thing. It sounds like you handled the situation wonderfully and Pickle sounds adorable!

    • Debbish
      April 29, 2016

      Pickle is adorable Katherine… and I think the name calling was part of a broader bullying thing but not sure.

      I wrote a post here ages ago Fat vs Phat I think it’s called and it’s about my niece when she was 2 or so telling me she ‘loved my fat tummy’. For her the term was a descriptor (like tall, short, small) and had no connotations attached at all. It reminded me how much weight (pardon the pun) we later attach to some words!!!

  • The Jolly Runner
    April 29, 2016

    Oh, but that’s just a bit cute. We have a whole family vocabulary of mixed up words. Not RUDE ones, like Duckhead, of course. But our oldest is 21 and his creations still have currency now!

    • Debbish
      April 29, 2016

      I remember having an argument with my niece when she was little as to whether the word ‘bugger’ was a swearword. I said it wasn’t and she said it was. I think we’d talked about a swear jar or something and then I’d blurted it out.

      I recall the word was prominently featured on a TV ad at the time – which I used to argue my case!

  • Vanessa
    April 29, 2016

    I think the time I encouraged teenaged pregnancy in front of uber serious and religious in laws was funny only to me ….

    • Debbish
      April 29, 2016

      Ummm…. yes, that’s probably the case! 😉

  • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
    April 29, 2016

    Lol Duckhead…my first thought was whether the other kid was Kiwi 😛

    Oh and as for funny tales of woe — I could tell you so many from my work. Especially my current one as it’s not a mental health service but more of a counselling role. So I do get some ‘issues’ like Pickle’s that I’ve got to deal with.

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    April 29, 2016

    Kids say the funniest things, don’t they? Once when I was teaching, 2 six year olds were having an altercation in the lunch line. One called me over and said that the other had said a bad word. I asked what word, and he said “you know, the Q word” was his reply. Q word? I looked as puzzled as he felt. He got that I didn’t get it and said, all innocently, “you know Miss F**K Q!” I don’t know how I kept a straight face!

  • Melissa {Suger}
    May 5, 2016

    Haha. Love this. KIDS, hilarious buggers.

    My sister called me once because her son, barely 2 at the time, had picked up my tendency to say ‘no shit’. I obviously said it around him so much so that when a woman at day care drop off said to him ‘that he’s such a big boy now, so tall’ he turned around and said ‘no shit’. My sister almost murdered me, but she would’ve been too late, I’d already died laughing. 😉

    • Debbish
      May 5, 2016

      Oh that is funny Melissa. It’s funny the things they pick up!

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