THE em­bar­rass­ing THINGS KIDS SAY


Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - MUR­PHY’S LORE Mi­randa Mur­phy is a mother of three and a jour­nal­ist on The Aus­tralian

It seems more mor­ti­fy­ing if the tar­get of your of­fend­ing off­spring’s re­mark is a stranger rather than a friend

SO you’re walk­ing down the street with your child and they bel­low some­thing notso adorable like: “Mummy, why is that man so fat/ Look, that lady has a funny nose/ Hey, that boy looks like a bot­tom*.” What do you do? Ob­vi­ously if the equip­ment is to hand you im­me­di­ately dig an enor­mous hole and shove your child into it and then fling your­self in as well.

Oth­er­wise the usual re­sponse is to get in­cred­i­bly flus­tered** and mut­ter some­thing like: “Well, dear, ev­ery­body has a dif­fer­ent shape/ all noses are funny, when you think about it/ re­ally now, I hardly think he looks like a bot­tom … oh … yes.”

Then you silently mouth “sorry” to the in­jured party and make a men­tal note to ex­plain to your child the con­cept of an in­ner mono­logue.

What’s worse is if it’s some­one else’s kid who’s with you and made the dodgy re­mark.

In that case it’s im­por­tant to quickly dis­tance your­self from own­er­ship of said child and re­spon­si­bil­ity for their poor up­bring­ing, by loudly say­ing within ev­ery­one’s earshot: “Good­ness me Billy, what an odd thing to say — I must re­mem­ber to tell YOUR MOTHER all about it.”

Here are some un­in­ten­tion­ally cringe-wor­thy things lit­tle tykes can blurt out:

That lady is hav­ing a baby (nope, she’s not preg­nant)

Are you their grandma? (nope, I’m just go­ing grey)

What’s that thing on your face? (just put a cork in it, would you kid?)

It smells funny at their house (it’s now time to de­ploy the emer­gency para­chute).

Oddly, it seems more mor­ti­fy­ing to a par­ent if the tar­get of your of­fend­ing off­spring’s re­mark is a stranger rather than a friend.

At least with a mate you can hope­fully laugh about it later, like my per­fectly at­trac­tive friend who’s re­cov­er­ing gra­ciously af­ter my daugh­ter, on see­ing one of their fam­ily photos, re­marked to her daugh­ter: “Wow, your mum used to be re­ally pretty ... when she was young.”

Size, shape, age, colour, noses — kids have got an em­bar­rass­ing ob­ser­va­tion about all of these. Let me apol­o­gise again to any­one who’s copped one from mine.

And an ex­tra shout-out to the hand­some black guy at whom my child pointed ex­cit­edly and cried out: “Look Mum … it’s The Obama!”

* If the child speak­ing is a four-year-old boy

** Of course, ex­perts dis­cour­age the flus­ter­ing

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