About a month ago, as I was dressing my three year old for bed in his dinosaur pyjamas, he looked up at me with his big innocent eyes, pointed to his PJ top and asked, ‘ammu, is this sexy?’ My mouth dropped. For a brief moment, all the oxygen in the air just vanished and I was speechless. Did I hear him correctly? Did he just ask if his clothes were ‘sexy’?! Hoping that I had misheard, I asked him to repeat the question. Once again he pointed to his top and asked ‘is this sexy?’
In that one moment, fear and dread came over me. Where did he learn that word? Who had said it to him? Why would he use that word to describe his clothing?!! As calmly as I could, I asked, what does that mean? Where did you learn that word? He looked confused and said, ‘I dunno’, and the conversation was changed very quickly. I will admit, that I did try my best to not think about it, but of course I did. It’s not like he said one of the usual bad words; the ‘f’ word or the ‘b’ word. He said a very adult word. The context that he could have heard it in was what worried me the most.
So a week had passed and there was no mention of the word. Until we were at my sister’s house. Chicco and my nephew were playing with dinosaurs when he picked one up and said, ‘roooarrr, I’m sexy’!!! Everybody in the room was shocked, and turned to look at me. I felt like the worst mum in the world! There was nothing I could say to fix the situation. I accepted defeat. I had failed!
Now this is my first child, so I had no idea what to do. What do you do when your child says a word like that? When your child describes things as sexy? Do you tell them off? Do you ignore them? The first time he did it, of course I googled the solution – give them an alternative word to use. So I went to Chicco and I very softly said, ‘Chicco, this is a dinosaur.’ And then I smiled, painfully, and sat back down!
So Chicco loves the Power Rangers. Yes, I know they’re violent and a bit scary, but he still loves them. For those who don’t know, the new series is called ‘Power Rangers, Dinocharge’, because each Power Ranger has a dinosaur that they bond with. Chicco’s favourite is the Red Ranger and his dinosaur is a T-Rex. One thing Chicco loves to do is repeat what the characters have said, as though he’s re-enacting. All of a sudden I heard Chicco shout, ‘Go Sexy!’ Huh? What did he just say?!! I had to rewind the show to hear what he was repeating.
Aaaah.. ‘Go Rexy’! The Red Ranger calls his dinosaur ‘Rexy’. I felt absolute relief. I laughed out loud. And Chicco looked at me like I was a little crazy. It all made sense now. The dinosaur pyjamas, the toy dinosaur. My sweet innocent child didn’t think they were ‘sexy’, he thought they were ‘Rexy’. Phew!!!
Of course, I spent a long time after that teaching him how to say ‘Rexy’. And then I rewarded myself with a soothing cup of tea and some chocolate digestive biscuits. I hadn’t failed. I’m still a good mum!