Monday, November 5, 2012

Little piggies have big ears!

A year and a half ago my growing family (the hubs, preggers me and our 9 month old firstborn) were strolling along the seafront, back home with my aunts and young cousins, all gossiping away about the latest family scandal.

I couldn't tell you what the scandal was. I would tell you - I just don't remember. Two more babies and thousands of gallons of breast milk production later and my memory is a little compromised..

However, that's not where I was going with this intro. The point was, somewhere along the way one of my aunts faltered, and with a very unsubtle nod of the head towards the young cousins - who were 6 and 8 at the time - she mumbled through closed teeth,

"Little piggies have big ears!"

"What does that mean?" A curious young piggy asked straight away.

I'd never heard the phrase used before, but it hardly needed an explanation - at least for this grown-up piggy. I thought it was a cute and diplomatic way of saying 'shut the f*** up' - so I remembered it.

It would come in handy once I needed to protect my own babies innocence from all the effing and blinding at the Grandparents'!

Little did I realize that I would be the one to have to learn to zip it!

I can't believe we already have two extra walking and talking people in our family! They never miss a trick - and they hear everything. How much of what they hear they actually understand, I'm not too sure. I'm starting to realize it's always a LOT more than I think.

But whether they fully 'get' it or not, they are definitely parroting it.

My biggest slip so far:

Mommy (in the car), "Oh My God!"

My three year old, "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!"

The best part, though, was my twenty month old joining in with,

"God..... God ...... God .......God"

So, they can already blaspheme... no biggie, right? I grew up not knowing it was a sin to take the Lord's name in vain. For me, it's less offensive than a fart in a teacup, but here, in God squad territory, "Mother-Fucker!" would have been more forgivable.

I quickly started repeating in a sing-song voice:

"Oh my GOSH! Oh my GOSH!"

I could tell big kid was a wee bit suspicious about the sly phoneme substitution. But after enough repetition he was just happy to have this new and exciting phrase down pat.


My mother-in-law happened to use the "Oh my gosh!" version at the table over mac and cheese and the boys parroted her verbatim.

I had to laugh at her chagrin expression before admitting it was actually all Momma's doing.

Honestly, I'm not too worried about them picking up foul-language at this ever-so-young and impressionable age. They're only three and nearly two. I've got a couple of years before they reach Kindergarten age and I need to beat it out of them.

I'm kidding (at least about the beating part).

What I'm really starting to get concerned about is my talking about them when they're right here under our noses. We've been doing it for years now, and it's really hard to stop. I just can't fully fathom that they're actual real life communicable people already. It just happened so fast.

I've been noticing for a while that our eldest is picking up on bits of conversation between me and the hubs and he's even interjected to set us straight about his own opinion on the matter.

That should have been a big red flag, right there!

Then I overheard one of my Momma friends bagging out a fellow Mommy for discussing her three year old's issues when he's right beside her, and I gulped guiltily. My boy just turned three...

So I've promised myself to take extra care chit-chatting whenever big kid is present.

It's not easy. I still find myself telling kid stories, after which I kick myself when I stop to think about how my eldest little piggy might have understood it. The last thing I want is to give my boy a complex (or a big head) when he's only three. I'm saving that for when he's old enough to start reading the blog!

Not that anything hurtful is being said at all. But you never know what's going on inside anyone's head - let alone a three year old's. Just being talked about like he's not there might make him feel like a second rate human being, or worse - invisible!

If he was an adult he'd be saying something like, "Hey! Don't talk about me like I'm not here!" or "I'm still here, you know!" But he's not an adult. He's a little kid just starting to figure out the world. And he doesn't quite know that talking in front of a person, like they're not there, is a dysfunctional way of operating - especially if his Momma keeps on doing it (talk about being a bad example!)

So, it's now up to Momma to set the wee man straight. It's a huge responsibility we parents carry. One wrong move could mean thousands of dollars in future therapy bills!

The code name for this assignment is 'Little piggies have big ears!'

Real life friends and family, please use it if I lose my way! I'm going to practice inviting my little guys to be their own story-tellers from now on, and I'll just add tit-bits here and there (for comprehension sake, of course). The same way we always tell Daddy about our day!

So, here's the saddest part of all; If I can't jabber on about my kids anymore - and I sure as hell can't dish the dirt on the hubs in front of them either - then what else is left for me to say?

Hmmmm. What did I used to talk about before the kids came along?


  1. food, family, pets, politics, family politics, other people's kids, the neighbors dogs, movies, gardening, landscaping, tv shows, christmas lists, . . . oh, and we could talk about the fact that i think its tid-bits and you think it's tit-bits ;-)

    1. Hehe! Seems so obvious when you run off a list like that. After four years here I was unsure whether it was tid-bits or tit-bits myself!