Yesterday I made a grand sociological observation about the social conditioning of our young.
Previously I had thought that pre-schoolers behaved badly because it was in their nature, and they were simply learning to push boundaries and determine how they can influence the world around them.
Preschoolers, or more specifically my pre-schooler (the three and a half year old blond bombshell), behaves badly because - get this - she learned it from me!
In front of a room full of people (my wonderful in-laws, bless them) I embodied that which I despise - a petulant, whining, argumentative three year old. I stooped to her level. I forgot I was an adult, and for a moment, actually believed I would win the war of wits with the following exchange:
Her: 'Be quiet Mummy'.
Me: 'No, you be quiet'.
Ok, writing this I realise that it doesn't look all that unreasonable. But if you could hear the tone of voice I used, you would have thought you were overhearing a screaming match between a bunch of whiny siblings.
And then to top it off, as I frogmarched her to her room - I told her that I would call Santa and tell him not to bring any presents this year. I actually told her that Mummy's have a direct line to Santa.
Where does this stuff come from?
Sometimes I am so ashamed of what I say I find myself cringing in the next room, shaking my head in disbelief.
And then, a matter of days later I find myself shaking my head in disbelief yet again, as my pre-schooler repeats the same offensive offering to her sister or father or aunty. I am creating a monster.
I know parents often say that they wish their kids had a mute button, but I think in this household, it is me who needs one.