I have been a Professional Nanny for enough years to find that there are few things that come from the mouths of babes that can actually surprise me. However, rarely does a day pass that I am not moved to fits of side splitting, eye watering, pant wetting laughter over the verbal shenanigans of children. The following, is one of my very favorite case studies.
While on a group playdate with my two tots, I had the extreme pleasure to observe this interaction between my dear friend, Ashley and her two beautiful children, Gracyn (5) and Lane (3).
Gracyn: “Mommy? What’s a bad word?”
Ashley: “Why are you asking, honey?”‘
Gracyn: “Our teacher told us kids to stop using bad words.”
Ashley: “Well, what bad words were being used, Sweetheart?”
Gracyn: “I don’t want to say.”
Ashley: “Don’t be afraid, Sweetie. Nothing you say will get you in trouble. What words were used?”
Ashley: “Well, okay. There’s nothing really wrong with the word butt. However, you can use it in a mean or bad way.”
Gracyn: “Like if you call someone a Butthole?”
Ashley: “YEP! That’s not nice!”
Gracyn: “Uhm – Mom? I have something to tell you.
Gracyn: “Tommy from my class called you a Butthole.”
Gracyn: “I told him my mom is NOT a Butthole, then I told the teacher.”
Ashley: “Do you think I am a Butthole?”
Ashley: “I have always tried to be super nice to the kids in your class. I bring cookies and great snacks, so it kind-of hurts my feelings that Tommy would say that.”
Lane: (Age 3, coming in for the big win!) “TOMMY IS A BUTTHOLE!”
…And conversation over. Gotta give it to him. Some people just know how to wrap things up in a neat little package. No doubt a gift that will serve him well in the future.
As I think about my funny, sweet friend, Ashley, I feel a little sorry for her. I know she is clueless as to why she has been appointed class Butthole, having done nothing to earn the scandalous title. Yet, as I watch my two charges play peacefully with their friends, there is one tiny part of me doing a private “WooHoo!” Because just this once – it’s someone else’s turn. Yes, just this one time – NANNY’S NOT THE BUTTHOLE! WOOHOO!