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Things I wish you wouldn't say to my preschooler

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unfortunately, we have heard all of these over the past few days:

You're big now, you don't cry anymore. That's for babies.
Macondo Papa's advice for the monster: "That's ridiculous, everyone cries! The next time your teacher tells you that, tell them that it's ridiculous!"

(Speaking loudly about his little brother):
Look at that smile! You're the friendly one, aren't you? What a cutie!!! etc. etc. gush, gush, gush.
I said, "His big brother is really friendly too. Now that he's big though, he just doesn't feel like smiling and waving at people all the time." Have you people no understanding of what shit like this does to an older sibling? On an already not-so-great day?

(In a strong Spanish accent):  
Hello. How are you?
No blame for this one, just trying to be friendly, but my poor guy doesn't understand why people don't just speak to him in Spanish like everyone else, and why they all giggle in amazement when he slips up and lets them hear him say something to me in English. I say (in Spanish), "Did you hear that? They wish they could speak English as well as you can!"

Look at you, so cool not buckled in to your car seat. Like a big kid! 
A momentary lapse of judgment from Macondo Papa, hopefully not really registered and quickly forgotten...

Ha ha ha ha ha!
From a four-year-old boy we met at the park, laughing in my son's face at his stuttering as he so earnestly tried to tell his new friend all kinds of things. Poor little monster, my heart ached at your potential future pain from this one.

You can't have the pink one, it's for girls.

You ran around like a crazy bunch of Indians all morning - what fun!
Ugggghh ugggghh! 

No, not now, stop that, don't do that, hurry up, come here, sit down, I'm getting angry...
My own stellar parenting skills.

It's hard to know how to deal with all these (other than my own, which would benefit from some deep breathing, better sleep, AND JUST A LITTLE BIT OF TIME ALONE).

I've started speaking up more in front of others, saying things like "If you don't like it when she touches your hair / talks to you in English / tries to kiss you, then tell her that you don't like it."

The bilingualism adds an extra layer of complication to this, because I have to switch into Spanish to get the desired effect (back off, lady!). That adds a bit of wierdness to it for the monster, since I always speak to him in English. It also makes it quite obvious to all that I'm speaking to the monster - loudly and clearly enough to be overheard - as an easier and more socially acceptable way of saying what I'd really like to say (back off, mister!).

What kinds of comments do you wish your kids didn't hear? What do you do? How important do you think these unwanted outside influences really are?

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