It’s true. I’m admitting loudly that I am not a helicopter parent. And some of the things I have uttered to my kids have on occasion caused me to cringe, giggle and consider professional help (all at once sometimes). So this evening I have gathered some of the more wonderful phrases uttered by me, and those around me. Because of parents didn’t laugh, they’d throttle the little
Don’t be flippant about injuries
This week, TinyPants walked clear into a shelf and floored herself and just got up and after a cuddle was fine. A lady near us declared to me that she was the bravest little girl she’d seen. I flippantly commented that she bashed herself so regularly, she was really very tough. Cue the semi-joking response of “you’ll end up on some sort of register!”
*facepalm* Of course what I failed to say out loud was that she’s been training in Kung fu since she was 4 and the weekly nunchuk to the head due to having the concentration of a goldfish puts the odd bruise in perspective.
Better Drowned Than A Duffer
This is from my quintessentially English FiL. I believe it’s a direct quote from Swallows and Amazons and is used whenever I am in danger of being a helicopter parent. As tiddlers, I was adamant that they wouldn’t be allowed to hurt themselves. However, I do not have eyes everywhere or 18 pairs of arms, so these kids will have to learn to accept that injury is often the direct consequence of acting like a moron. And just like their mother, their battle cry is “at my command, do something frighteningly dangerous!”. We climb trees, roller skate, roll down massive hills, sledge face first while LSH cringes and occasionally takes a photo. (He did join in sledging)
We spend our summers covered in bruises or bandages. We eat fruit from brambles without washing it first. We get tummy aches, but they’re worth it.
In the Enid Blyton world that I wished my kids lived in, they would be far put of earshot of parents and first aid kits so they (we) learnt to deal with injuries in a basic first did type way. If you grazed your knee, your friend gave you a hug and you got a free chance at reaching ‘home’ in the game. If you broke a bone you’d grit your teeth and find a grown up. These days, we don’t let them wander for miles, but we do our best to make them think they have. My girls know basic first aid and self defence, not so they can wander off, but so they have the perception that they can handle themselves.
Noun – a piece or crust of bread, not acquired from a parent, but hidden by other children and scavenged from the depths of god knows where. This tastes better than any other bread known to man if you are under the age of four.
Also Noun – as in “mummy, I just used the potty and Boy child is eating my poo sausage!”
I thank all sorts of deities that those words were not from my kids!
If you don’t stop talking and go to sleep now, I won’t let you sleep in the box
These are the actual words LSH just uttered to beanpole. He’s doing bedtime tonight and beanpole has decreed that tonight she will be sleeping in the giant cardboard Wendy house purchased this week as a bribe to get them to colour things in and give us a few minutes peace.
TinyPants! Don’t eat the duck food!
She’s 7, well fed and academically doing well. Then she does something which rivals eating paste and I vow never to let her be left in charge of living things or power tools.
Beanpole, why are your socks on the wall?
Answer: I’m reading.
This answer equally applies to, why are you in the larder?
…. And what are you doing up there??!?
Turns out that its hard to get peace with a little sister and that was a REALLY good book (it was Ratburger, by David Walliams and she got through the whole thing in 4 days)
Just a few examples, but you get my drift. Kids are weird (especially mine), but this weirdness makes them who they are. They are natural scientists and artists who work with whatever they have and sometimes, just like us, they are overwhelmed by naughtiness. Show them how to swim. Ride the wave and they’re the best fun you’ll ever have, try to make them perfect and compliant and you may just miss out on some of the best days of your life.
Last summer, I climbed trees barefoot and sat high in the branches loving the last few days of summer. A week later I tripped over a tiny rabbit hole in the much ‘safer’ park and dislocated my pelvis. Six weeks on crutches wasn’t fun and put an end to me running, but I will not live my life scared of doing anything remotely dangerous in case I get hurt. That’s not living!
After all, you’re better drowned than a duffer 😉
note to my friends and family who were quoted here. I love you, and thank you for providing me with daily entertainment xxx