Titled ” What you don’ know can’t hurt you ”
After having three Girls I was starting to think I was somewhat of an expert at this child rearing thing; carrying a bit of a superior glow about me to boot. But as all things go when we elevate ourselves to great heights it only gives us a greater distance to come crashing back down to earth.
Crashing is putting it nicely, as it was more like hurtling with arms and legs flailing around wildly, trying to slow the descent very ungraciously.
The event? A son. Oh, things went along smoothly for some time until I noticed that he was not talking, not even trying. Apparently being waited on hand and foot by his sisters gave him no reason to.
Then there is the day, the pivotal day when you know the fall has begun. You are in public domain, where else would you be, when your son, standing looking at public toilets turns and yells “Mum! Am I a male or a Female?” and I know right there and then that I am clueless when it comes to raising a son.
This is reinforced more and more as he grows, when he comes in yelling “I got a pee, I got a pee” as he races past the toilet and heads for the front veranda to pee off the edge. Or when I find a trail of clothes he has disregarded to end up naked playing in the back yard.
There are the memorable quotes that they come out with that make you see how literal their minds are. Stopped at the traffic lights, I admired the BMW on display and sighed “I wish I had that car” and his response was “You can have that car mummy”. I had to tell him that Mummy could never afford a car like that, then he says “Yes you can Mummy, it’s drive away no more to pay”.
Then the night we take Grandma to the RSL for her birthday and as usual she has collected the scraps for her dog on a plate and tells her grandson “Now don’t let anyone take that plate, will you”. He lovingly agrees to be the guardian, so when the waiter comes to clear the table, he leaps to his feet pointing at him screaming out at the top of his lungs “Grandma! That man is stealing your dog food!”
Before you know it, he knows and understands things you think are years away from your explaining. You walk in after work to have him meet you at the door rolling his eyes whispering to you “Watch what you say, I think the girls have got their period, they are cranky”.
As time goes by and you wonder just what effect growing up in a house full of women will have had on him, he starts to become a young man. So, in the end I did a good job. Despite the fear of doing it all wrong, I probably gave him the greatest gift of all; an understanding of women.