In case you aren’t fully aware of this delightful fact, kids have no inhibitions, say what they think, and repeat everything they hear. Everything.
Maya has been learning big/little at school and has been classifying objects by these descriptors at home. She’ll ask me to cut her string cheese and if one piece is bigger than the other, she will tell us. Likewise, she says Rocco is big. Her baby doll is little. She says she is little. The tree outside is big. She is usually right in her classifications, so, naturally, we’ve encouraged her. “Bring Mommy the big crayon.” “Where’s the little bow?”
However, on vacation, we had a bit of an embarrassing situation (certainly not to be the last!).
The scene: we were in a crowded elevator, post-pool/pre-dinner, and Maya was nestled in Luis’s arms. A man walked in and Maya looks at him and says, “He LITTLE,” pointing at said gentleman.
Fortunately, the man didn’t appear to speak English (I heard him talking to someone else in what sounded like Russian) but while she was proud of herself for correctly categorizing him, I was mentally crawling under a rock.
Luis — who was trying to dig out our room key from his pocket — didn’t catch what was happening til later … but I wanted to die.
When I shared the story with everyone at dinner, they all — naturally — cracked up. But it was a good reminder that kids have zero inhibitions and will say whatever to whomever, without a second thought.
Which is further reasoning for why I will never teach Maya is the “F” word … FAT. I know she’ll hear it elsewhere and learn it elsewhere, but it won’t be from us–her parents. I never want to hear that word used to describe someone. Words can be hurtful … and I don’t want my child to ever be the source of someone’s pain — not if I can help it!