Le Freak

A few months ago, O and I were making our way into the house when I dropped our mail. Irritated, I huffed and sighed as I gathered to pick up the mail that had scattered across the front porch. O told me to stop “freaking out.” Hmm.

Now, I could have stated that I wasn’t really “freaking out,” but that wasn’t really the point. I was more interested in where he had picked up the phrase “freaking out.”

I didn’t think “freaking out” was a phrase I had used in his presence, but I’ve often been surprised–both pleasantly and unpleasantly—to learn my almost-three-year-old does pick up many of his colloquialisms from me.

“Mommy’s not freaking out, O. It’s OK,” I told him. “Who told you about ‘freaking out?’”

“’Freaking out’ is not a nice word, Mommy. You shouldn’t say that,” O said. “Miss Cake (his teacher at daycare) told A it’s not a nice word.”

“You’re right,” I said. “It’s not very nice. Let’s try not to say that.”

“I think that’s a good plan, Mommy,” O agreed, and hasn’t really said it since.

This wasn’t the first not-so-nice saying from O has picked up from A—and it hasn’t been the last. There have been some other questionable things A has taught my child, but nothing worth too much of a concern—yet.

I always thought I’d have to worry about other children influencing mine when we hit the preteen years, not the preschool years.

Have your toddlers/preschoolers picked up any habits you’re not so fond of from other children at daycare/preschool/babysitters? What do you do?

14 thoughts on “Le Freak

  1. I wouldn't freak out about the saying "freaking out." But, maybe that's just me.

    I have a bad habit of calling my kids "ding-dongs" when they do something not so smart (i.e. asking where their shoes are when they just took them off and tossed them on the floor.) I say it in a joking-way, and we laugh about it, but it's probably not a good idea.

    People have different opinions on what they view as offensive.

  2. Cherilynn Stone says:

    Thanks for sharing that. That's very sweet 🙂

  3. Ha, Cala–I'm not freaking out about the freaking out. It just struck me b/c it's not language I usually use.

    It's more the OTHER things that he seems to pick up that get to me. Although he got "That's annoying" from me, so…

  4. One day when my son was 8 he told me that he was NOT going to read the book he got from his (Christian) school library because it had a bad word in it. When questioned further he said it had the "F" word in it…HUH?? So I made him tell me what it said…you guessed it…"Freak Accident"…oh, THAT "F" word. Anyway, it was very funny at the time and your story reminded me of my smiles that day.

  5. My 4-year-old using "freaking" all the time, and she uses it in the manner some might find offensive. "I bumped my freaking head." Where'd she hear it? From me! Argh! However, I maintain it's better to say "freaking" than "f-ing."

  6. Brianna W. says:

    I always say "freaking out" in front of my daughter. I'm pretty sure she uses the phrase too. It's just such a widely used phrase that I guess I never even thought twice about it.

    There are TONS of habits and sayings that my daughter has picked up in preschool. She recently heard the word pathetic and called a younger child "pafetic". It earned her a time out and a talk from one of the preschool teachers. yikes. There are lots of words that can have dual meanings and it's tricky at that age to understand both nuances. 🙂

    Do you other mom's notice that your preschooler is now learning how to be click-ish? I am really disturbed that my daughter has these negative interactions with other groups of girls who exclude her and that her own group of friends exclude other kids. It seems soooo young to be doing that. What do you do about it?

    Side note: She got "that's annoying" and "I'm feeling really frustrated" from me.

  7. crankypantsknits. says:

    Henry came home from pre-school a couple of years ago saying "Oh snap!". I didn't love that, but secretly thought it was kind of funny. This year in Kindergarten, sticking up your ring finger so it sort of looks like you are sticking up your middle finger is all the rage. Good times!

  8. Yes, Brianna!!! I'm thinking of doing a post on it. I have been horrified by the Mean Girl crap that my daughter is experiencing (and, at times, dishing out) in preschool. I was prepared to deal with it in a few years, but now now.

    And it doesn't seem to be limited to girls. Plenty of boys have pulled the "I don't like you/want to play with you" junk on her. And, to be fair, she's done it to other boys. I do my best to referee and reinforce friendly behavior, but Jeez O Pete. Sometimes I feel like I'm witnessing the preschool version of Lord of the Flies!!

    Hey, fellow WMAGs – I reserve this topic for my next post. If I can find time to do a next post. 🙂

  9. Lol, Karla–that is a cute story.

    Brianna–O isn't so much clique-ish right now, as unabashedly unapologetic about who he does and does not like. Right now, he does not like the "babies" that has moved up to his room (he's in the 2-3 room–almost three and there are two year olds moving up.) I'm always trying to tell him it's not nice to say he doesn't like someone–but he's not quite getting it. I'm not sure how to handle it–so Sara, I'd love to see a post about it. I've been contemplating it as well!

    Crankypants– "Oh snap!" *is* pretty funny, but oy on that whole ring finger thing!

  10. About the preschool Mean Girls — just this morning my husband asked our daughter if she played with her friend M at preschool yesterday. She said, “No, M not my friend aymore. I no like M.” He asked why and she said, “M say she no like ME aymore.” He said that when she told him this, her brow was furrowed and her arms were crossed in defiance. Hoo boy…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Jeez O Petes… that's too funny. I grew up in the south, but my husband is from Ohio. When we were dating his family would use that term. I always thought they were saying 'cheese and beets!"

  12. My daughter is 2 and came home from school recently and my hub and I were talking and she wanted our attention. She kept saying, 'stop talking.' 'Mommy, Daddy, stop talking.' I said she needed to wait her turn. Then she said, 'Mommy, zip it, lock it and put it in your pocket!' When I asked her where she learned this phrase she said from Teacher S. This is apparently how one of the teachers at day care tells the kids to be quiet. It was funny to hear it come out of a 2 year olds mouth, but I'm not sure I'm crazy about the fact that this woman is telling the kids to quiet down in this way?

  13. As a preschool teacher, it's AMAZING how much preschool is like high school with the mean girl junk. Fortunately, it's usually short lived. The worse thing a 3yr old can say is "I'm not your friend" and "you can't come to my party!" When I hear things like that, I try to find out what's happen to upset them–if they can express the real problem, there's mroe of chance of figuring out a solution.

    As for the habits/sayings…my daughter has become a nail biter/finger sucker because one of her friends is!!! It is awful and disgusting and makes me crazy, and her defense is always, "G does it!"

    She picked up "Freaking me out!" from a movie…amazing what they absorb, isn't it?

  14. My daughter is 2 1/2 and about 3 months ago, her daycare teacher's pre-teen kids (who come in to help out before school) taught her "shake your booty" while dancing. My husband and I were not too pleased as all we could think of was some God-awful rap video on MTV with girls half-dressed "shaking their booties"!
    We just continued to correct "booty" with "bottom" and somehow it just seems a little more age-appropriate. Unfortunately, I feel this is only the beginning and we will need to continue to correct the "misinformation" 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.