I am certain that there comes a time in every mother’s life when her own words come back to haunt her.
Children, being young and impressionable, are often absorbing and processing every last detail of the world around them, whether we realised it or not. Past experience has taught me that inattention from my children does not necessarily equate to not listening. The Woo’s hearing capabilities, in particular, are somewhat, how can I say…inconsistent?
Whilst swinging a belt (or similar hazardous implement around his head) within inches of Bubble’s eyeballs, or the TV screen, he is seemingly oblivious to my panicked shrieks and bellows from the kitchen to “Put it down NOW!”
However, should I be discussing something private with his father in muted tones and hushed whispers in a neighbouring room, you can guarantee that he will pause from building his train-track, or bouncing off the walls to ask, “What Mummy? Tell me? What are you talking about?”
There is something very humorous, but also disarming about hearing your own words repeated back to you from the mouth of your child. You catch an unexpected fleeting glimpse of yourself from your child’s point of view.
A few weeks ago, in my usual morning fluster of nappy changing, washing, dressing, and feeding the gang, I opted to save a little time and clamber awkwardly over the safety gate instead of opening it. With hands full of the children’s clothes, I foolishly misjudged the height and gave my knee a good, hard whack on the way over.
Holding in my urge to howl like a wounded animal, I clenched my teeth, held my breath and rubbed at my knee. Who would have thought you have one of those horrible funny bone things in your knees as well as your elbows?
Being a very sweet, empathetic soul, Woo bounded over with a look of deep concern etched into his little features.
“What’s wrong Mummy? What did you do?”
“It’s okay mate,” I winced, putting on a brave face. “I just banged my knee.”
“Well,” he replied putting his hands on his hips and shaking his head “that’s what you get for mucking about!”
Do your children ever use your words against you?
Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net