I’m beginning to miss three years old. Three year olds have no framework for naughtiness outside of their own. They’ve learned about “no no’s” and timeouts and consequences but it’s all about them. It’s one layered. Seven is different. At seven they get crushed beneath an avalanche of the realization that other people can be naughty too. Then they are forced to categorize really naughty, kind of naughty and naughty when people are looking while making decisions about just how naughty they should be themselves. It seems a bit much for a seven year old mind. I miss three.
Here’s a conversation that Rachel (7 and a half) had with her babysitter.
Rachel: There are some words that are not nice to say.
Rachel: Yep, and there are some words that it’s ok to say in some houses but in other houses it’s not ok to say.
Babysitter: Ok. Like what?
Rachel: Like the “F” Word. In some houses it’s ok to say but in others you’re not supposed to say it.
Babysitter: (eyes getting bigger and smiling on the inside) Uh huh
Rachel: Yeah. It’s ok to say it in our house.
Babysitter: (nearly biting holes in his lips) mmmm.
Rachel: My mom and dad say it, so it’s ok here but other parents might not want their kids to say it.
Babysitter: So what is the “F” word exactly?
Rachel: (reluctantly under her breath) Fudge.