What do children talk about at school? It's worrying when you believe you're teaching your children the right manners and behaviour and then they come under the influence of others and start to say and do things that you had no idea they were capable of. Take the following story for example...
On Thursday, I was at the tennis club with Master Ben who'd just had a lesson with a new coach, Coach Mark. Ben's next lesson should have been on the coming Saturday with his main coach but he was off representing the county. The following conversation ensued:
Mrs T: I wonder Coach Mark whether you could fill in on Saturday?
Coach Mark: I'm afraid not Mrs T, it's my birthday and my wife is taking me into London for a treat.
Mrs T: Oh well never mind. Actually it's my birthday on Sunday too. Happy Birthday to us! Hurrah! (Yes, I do talk like that. It's sad.)
Master Ben (Relaxing on settee after lesson but still listening): It's your birthday on Sunday?
Mrs T: Yes! And don't get me any chocolates or sweets, I'm back on my diet.
Master Ben (with total deadpan face): So, you want a sex toy then?
Mrs T (Face aghast, momentarily speechless): ........Master Ben!
Much laughter at Mrs T's expense ensues around tennis pavilion...
Mrs T: I don't know where he gets this stuff from, I swear! Whose telling him this stuff at school?
Mrs N: I don't know Mrs T. The other day Miss K came back from school and said "Mum you know these STDs...."
Mrs T: Stop Mrs N! Master Ben's ears are like radar! Look at him!
Everyone looks at Master Ben whose looking particularly smug, knowing he's deliberately dropped his mother in the proverbial shite.
Mrs T; Yes your ears, Master Ben, are like radar!
( I should point out at this juncture that Master Ben has large (but cute) ears and until I can afford to have them pinned back I'm toughening up for any teasing that might happen at school.)
Master Ben: My ears?
Mrs T: They're beautiful, son. And next time we go to war with Germany, they'll stick you on the beaches as an early warning system. You'll be a prize commodity!
(Yes, I did say that. Just in case you wondering.)
Yes so, where do children get explicit knowledge from? I allow my children to watch degrees of violence but I like to think I moderate it to what I believe is a reasonable level. Children grow up far too fast, in my opinion, without being exposed to a diet of tawdry soap operas and violent, sexual films. Children should stay children for as long as possible. What's happened to parental responsibility? Is everyone just too busy working or so self absorbed to care? Look, I'm not really bothered about Master Ben knowing about sex toys, he's smart, savvy and well adjusted. But what about more vulnerable children? How will they cope? How ARE they coping? I look around me at society and there's a lot of things I don't actually like going on, particularly amongst the youth. So many children falling on the wayside, corrupted by society's failings...
Anyway, it's difficult to be cross with Master Ben because he's very clever and funny too. I could tell that he'd dropped me in it deliberately and that it wasn't an innocent remark. He got his laughs! I'm afraid he's inherited my sense of humour and well what can I say...but he's my son. In fact, here's another story that proves how clever he is and which Mr T related to me on Saturday.
Mr T and Master Ben are in the car on their way to town.
Mr T: What shall we get Mum for her birthday?
Master Ben; (deadpan) Washing powder?
There, that proves it. The kid's a comedian. He'll do anything for the joke. It also proves for a 10 year old he know his parents too well. Hmm.
Okay, on a final note: Unfortunately, I didn't get any interesting "toys" for my birthday. But Mr T gave me an ipod, Master Jacob gave me a ipod case, Master Ben gave me a packet of chilli Doritos and a jar of dip, Master Sam forgot.
Today I shall run around the block, listening to music and scoffing Doritos. And when I stop for a breath I'll text Master Sam and tell him I've stopped the direct debit.