Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's in the genes!

As a teenage girl, I don't think I was all that bad. And by that statement, I mean I never drank or experimented with drugs, or had wild boyfriends or anything. I'm sure I was still a bit of a nightmare for my mother, arguing and answering back. I remember my exasperated Mum telling me many times, "You always have to have the last word!" (Also, I'm pretty sure my husband is nodding fervently in agreement.) Now here I am, ten years later, with three children who share my DNA. Yes, uh-oh!

I am now working with my five year old son on "answering back". Of course, to a small child, what does that mean? He looked at me blankly, and said very sincerely,"Why not?" I could picture what was going on in his head- questions are for answering, but if you answer then it's rude...? I think I have educated him now and he understands that the correct answer is something like "Yes Mummy, right away Mummy." Now I just have to remind him about eight times a day.

Then there are other situations when he doesn't understand the socially accepted 'rules' about manners and speaking to people. Like "Mummy, go away." Corrected to "Mummy, go away PLEASE." Ah. Much better.

My three and a half year old daughter has a similar tendency. She must have overheard me reading to her brother about different animal families, e.g. crustaceans, molluscs. She pulled out The Lion King book for me to read to her and said,"What family is this?" I paused for a second and said,"Well, animals that are a bit the same are in the same family. Animals that can lay eggs are in the same animal family. Lions and tigers and cats and..." as she held the book up to me and interrupted with "Read now." So patient, that one.

What hope is there for number three? Her favourite word is 'no'. And not just 'no', more like 'NONONONONONONONONOOOOOOO!" which roughly translates into, Touch my stuff and I will beat you with it.

Luckily they do have a few redeeming qualities. I do quite like the way that my 18 month old is quick to comfort and cuddle her crying siblings, even if the reason they are crying is because she belted them in the face with a drink bottle. And the way that my three and a half year old brings out dummies and toys to share with her little sister. And especially the way my five year old takes every opportunity to compliment his sisters ("You look beauuuuutiful, Isabel!")

All in all they're pretty good :)

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