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.
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?