Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Walls Have Ears

It goes without saying that you have to be careful what you say around kids - if you don't, you can be damn sure that the most embarrassing things will be parrotted back to you under the most inappropriate circumstances.

It's a lesson I learned about two years ago. Out at the shops, I found myself in the unenviable position of having my then-three year-old daughter on one arm, desperate to go to the toilet, and my infant son in his pram, screaming his head off because he needed to get home for his nap. All we had to do was get up the only access ramp (pram, remember?) to the level of the multi-storey where we had parked the car and we would be away.

Arriving at the base of the ramp, we were confronted by a corpulent old dear stepping gingerly onto the slope at the top. And with agonising slowness, she proceeded (in a step-rest, step-rest fashion) to descend towards us. There was no room to get the pram past her and we were looking at a five minute wait before the glacially paced granny reached the bottom.

My daughter glanced up the ramp, swiftly assessed the situation and shouted out the very same words that had crossed my mind - silently - not a second before:

'Oh, for f**k's sake!'

Naturally, she did this just as my son fell silent ...

Since then I've been extremely careful about what I say around her. But it turns out that she's just as capable of picking things up when she's not even in the same room.

I've been racing through season one of Prison Break on DVD, devouring two or three episodes a night after everyone else has gone to bed. One of the things you notice from watching the show is that it's standard form for the convicts to refer to the guards as 'Boss' - the epithet is used almost every other line.

This morning I asked my little girl to do something for me and got the answer, 'Okay, Boss!'.

And she's never once been present while I've watched the show.

My immediate realisation is that she must have been lying awake half the night listening to what I'm doing in the room next door. My second reaction was to think that it's a bloody good job I've not been watching uber-sweary western show Deadwood.

So I've implemented two new measures for my late-night viewing. First, turn the sound right down and the subtitles on. Second, creep up to the door of her room and whisper, 'No, Dad, I really don't need any sweets today, thank you.'

Well, you never know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i will never, ever, ever tire of this granny story. It is pure gold. I just want to know what the granny said? I hope she was hard of hearing...

4:45 PM  

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