I was going to be the best parent in the world. Ever.
Not a small boast, I know, but for some reason, somehow, a part of my brain really believed it. My children were going to be uniquely amazing, polite, kind, high achieving, philanthropic geniuses, sort of like iron man but more humble, entirely because of the amazing way I was going to bring them up.
It’s hilarious now. Not just thinking I could be some sort of super parent. It’s hilarious that I thought my amateur tutoring would make any significant difference in my child’s development.
My son learns what he wants to learn, and he seems to learn in spite of me rather than because of me. His vocabulary is starting to grow at an impressive rate, but I can’t remember drilling into him a lot of the words he comes out with.
“Cheese.” My son demands, with the kind of tone you’d use bursting into a bookies with a sawn off shotgun. “Cheese!”. He shouts. We haven’t been reading any books about the adventures of cheese. Nor is cheese in our book of one hundred words. But he learnt it anyway. Presumably so he could demand cheese.
“Would you like some cheese, son?” I ask, trying to restore a little decorum. “All right.” He says, and sticks his hand out. He doesn’t say “Yes thank you.”. He says “All right.”, like he’s doing us a favour. It’s quite disconcerting.
“Bye bye dear.” He says disconcertingly as he wonders off, cheese in hand. His Grandma can take credit for that one.
Turns out learning, like everything else in parenting, doesn’t happen the way you expect it to. My son, yet to become the uniquely amazing, polite, kind, high achieving, philanthropic genius I was planning to turn him into, came with me to a well known DIY superstore.
“Oi! No!” He shouted at a passing woman in the paint aisle. She almost collapsed with fright. I apologised profusely.
Embarrassingly, I did teach my son that phrase. Just not on purpose.