My kids are getting more and more cheeky. I don’t know whether this is down to an improvement in the weather and, therefore, their moods, but they’re getting bolder. So much so, that they have started using my own words against me.
As with many such examples of insubordination, this all started with youngest. Although she’s only three years old, she’s already an expert in the fine art of taking the piss.
She knows what constitutes good and not-so-good behaviour, as well as how to deploy humour when caught out. She’s aware that, if she makes us laugh, a ticking off will lose its impact.
Of course, I always try not to laugh but, sometimes, it’s nigh-on impossible not to. So it was that I caught her up to no good recently. Specifically, she was sat at a desk in her brothers’ room, calmly dismantling a couple of their favourite LEGO models.
“Why are you doing that?” I asked her. “Because I said so” she replied without batting an eyelid. That was that – I was gone. I tried to look unamused, but it was too damn funny.
I did manage to stop her doing any further damage to the LEGO, but have yet to eradicate this new catchphrase from her repertoire.
Not to be outdone, oldest used some more of my own words against me a few days later.
It was breakfast time and, as is our norm, we were playing some music. I think it’s important to introduce kids to a variety of different genres and I’m eternally grateful to my parents for doing so for me and my sister.
Speaking of my parents, we had an album on they used to play when I was a kid. Paul Simon’s critically acclaimed Graceland.
I’ve seen it described as ‘vibrant’, ‘joyous’ and ‘groundbreaking’. His verdict was “bang average”. That was it. It’s a phrase he’d heard me use while watching Tottenham’s recent dismal defeat against Bournemouth on telly.
Again, I didn’t have a response. I wasn’t laughing though. Progress.
That just leaves the seven-year-old conspicuous by his absence. He’s the resident hellraiser, so I knew it wouldn’t take long for him to make me regret my turn of phrase once again.
He duly obliged, of course. My own words – or word – came back to haunt me. I’ll give him this though – he found a novel way of doing so.
At the weekend, we were playing a game of Scrabble with a lovely set that once belonged to my late grandmother. According to the date on the inside of the box, it hails from the 1950s.
She very rarely used colourful language, so what follows was probably the first rude word the board had ever played host to in its sixty-odd years. Another proud family first!