Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A wee by any other name...

Rory started pre-school yesterday and I was so cool about it.  He gets a raw deal on here usually as I like to write about him in all his mayhem causing glory, but the truth is that he's actually a cheerful, confident, well adjusted sort who's always super polite and has only had about two half hearted tantrums since the age of around 14 months.  I mean, yeah, he's an evil genius when it comes to thinking up mischief to torture me with, but he's a lovely boy who takes things in his stride, so I knew he'd be fine at pre-school.

He ran all the way there yesterday morning, and went in with a cheery wave.  I was so relaxed about it all that I practically skipped off with glee at the thought of so much uninterrupted time stretching before me.  As I'd expected, I was given a glowing report when I picked him up later on.  Completely painless for both of us.

"Did they have any good cars to play with?"
"They did."
"And did you like playing with the sand?"
"Yes.  It was splendid."  (splendid = Rory's current favourite adjective of choice)
"And did you remember to ask to go to the toilet when you needed to?"
"Yes.  I did a wee-wee."

Excuse me, you did a what?

Wee-wee is not a word that Rory is familiar with.  I've always made a big deal of talking to him like I would talk to an adult (but with much less swearing).  I mean, he doesn't go around saying "Mother, Father, I wish to defecate", nor does he bellow "I NEED A SHIT", but a simple "wee" or "poo" will suffice.  It's not that I particularly mind people using "wee-wee", I just can't bear to say it myself as I don't have an ounce of cute in my body.  I'd feel ridiculous.  So hearing my son come out with this alien word gave me that punched in the stomach feeling - the sort of feeling I might get if someone I thought was my soul mate gave me a teddy as a gift.  Why the hell would I want a teddy?  I even used to throw them out of my cot when I was a baby, such was my disdain for them.  This household just does not do cutesy.

I felt weird for the rest of the evening and I still do now (the fact that I've eaten my way through most of the contents of the fridge is a clue that my mind is unsettled).  My boy isn't going to be my boy any more.  For the first time, outsiders are having an influence on him and I don't like it.  It's nothing against the staff of his pre-school (who seem brilliant, incidentally), it's just horrible knowing that someone can change his vocabulary in the space of 6 hours.  What else will they change about him?  What's going to happen to my confident, cheery, polite little boy?  What about the other kids he'll meet there?  Is he suddenly going to emerge from the pre-school doors wanting to play with guns and fight with other children?  I'm almost scared to pick him up at 3pm today because it feels as though every day a tiny part of him is going to be taken away from me and replaced with a child that I don't recognise.  Not so cool now, am I?


  1. What you said in the last paragraph is sooo true. We brought up my older son with no access to arms or military stuff of any kind. We don't watch the TV so he was spared all the knowledge of natural disasters, wars, politics etc. When he went to his pre-shool he immediately learned how to shoot me with his fingers and how to make an earthquake in the sand pit. In many respects he's not my boy any more but I guess I'll have to get used to it. To my surprise he hasn't idolised any of his teachers so at least my authority remains untouched.

  2. It's hard when they step out into the real world. The bubble bursts and you find them talking about things that clearly you haven't exposed them to or that you yourself, are not quite sure how to explain. (Who's God, Mummy? Was mine's latest.)

    I think if they pick things up (pretend shooting etc) or say things you don't agree with you just have to be firm about why in your household 'we don't do things like that'. It's not easy. Sometimes I just want to pick mine up, hold him tight forever, and never let his innocence go.

  3. You know what Lise, this hadn't occured to me. And now it has. Eeeek! It's a scary thought, isn't it! These outside influences. How many days is Rory going to preschool for? The way Ethan's behaving at the moment for me, I'm just hoping his improves him! xx

    1. He's just doing his free 15 hours - so two full days and a half day. I think that's definitely enough for now. How many is E going for?

  4. It is a worry, but our boy has been in nursery since he was 5 months old. He is a confident and loving little boy. Outside influences will always happen and as long as you do what you think is right then things will be fine. We have to let them learn from their own mistakes and decide on what is right or wrong for themselves based on their experiences. My boy is a bundle of energy and fun, he is loving and friendly and I am sure he will continue to be so, despite or because of outside influences :)

  5. My conversation with Pippa after her first day at the school nursery yesterday went like this:
    Mummy: "Did you like school today?"
    Pippa: "It was OK."
    Mummy: "What did you do there?"
    Pippa: "Nothing."
    Mummy: "Did you play outside?"
    Pippa: *Yes."
    Mummy: "What did you get to do outside?
    Pippa: "Nothing."

    Repeat all evening. It's like having a bloody teenager already, at the age of three. A threenager, if you will.

    1. Rory has not got a clue what he did all day either. How? How can they just forget? I am nosy and really really want to know what he's been doing.

  6. Yeah, it's a scary thought of what they learn, off everybody.
    I once picked up my little girl Rowan, who over the course of the day had picked up an american accent. And proceeded to talk like that for a full week.

  7. My son came home from nursery on the second day saying that everything was stupid. Not a word we have ever used with him and not one I am keen on him using.