Monday, 13 July 2009

Children's reading material? Not quite.

I thought I'd share a little conversation I had with Renée in the car this morning.

We'd just delivered Edie to nursery and were on our way to drop Renée at school. On leaving the nursery, Renée had helped herself to a whole handful of leaflets and flyers that had been left just outside the entrance - it's part of a community centre with a cafe and meeting rooms, a hall and various other non-descript offices.

As I was driving along, Renée was sitting behind me, reading through the leaflets.

'Mummy. I'm reading this magazine.'

'Well done darling. Your reading is really coming along now isn't it? I'm so proud of you. What does it say?'

Now, if you can - imagine you're reading from the point of view of a 4-year old. It's letter by letter, phonetically...

'Hmmmm. 'S'...'I'...'Z'...'E'.

'That's 'size' darling. Well read. What else does it say?'

'Hmmmm. 'M'...'A'...'T'...'T'...'E'...'R'...'S'...

'Size matters. Well done honey. Great reading.'

'Mummy, What does it mean, 'size matters'?'

Now I probably should have been concentrating more at this point, but if you have children, you'll understand that every now and then you drift off and you can have a conversation without actually thinking about what you're saying. Either that or I'm just a bit slow. Hmmmm. No need to comment here.

'Well, darling. Size matters. You can be big. You can be small. You can be tall. You can be short. That's what size is.'

'Hmmm. Ok. I'm going to read some more. And I don't need your help this time.'

'Ok, honey. You go for it.'

'AH-NALLE. Mummy, what does AH-NALLE mean?'

'AH-NALLE', I said, repeating back what Renée had read. I said it in my head, thinking that perhaps she had read it wrongly.

'Hmmmm. I'm not sure darling. Can you spell it for me please?'

'A'..'N'...'A'...'L'...

It was at this point that I came to my senses.

'Darling, what exactly is it that you're reading?'

She handed me the magazine and I looked at it. A full-frontal, naked torso. I mean this is Brighton, and I like to think that I'm open-minded, but please. Try not to leave your erotic men's magazines lying around so my four-year-old daughter can pick them up. I do wonder why she hadn't commented on the picture, but all I can say is that she's an avid reader...I'm hoping she hadn't noticed!

44 comments:

  1. OH! My god, I'd have been shocked by that too. I'm glad she was too busy reading to notice the photos.

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  2. I know i shouldn't, but i did giggle a tiny bit, sorry!
    I dread these moments when the little man gets bigger, because of course I'll be all trying to be a responsible mummy, but I'll be biting my tongue so hard not to laugh too!!

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  3. I giggled too. Sorry. Much more funny in retrospect and happening to someone else. Her reading is amazing! But you are right about where they are leaving the leaflets!

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  4. Woah, I wasn't expecting that! I can see that as a scene in a sit com!

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  5. ha ha, would never happen in our small town....I hope! Are you all recovered? We're off to the doctors in an hour for baby might be a chest infection, hopefully not swine flu!

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  6. No need to comment on being slow? Uuuuhhh, that's so hard not to do ;-) Ok, you have just been ill. You shall be excused.

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  7. Oh my ! You handled that perfectly ... I can't believe we have all of this to look forward to

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  8. Ha so funny thankfully it went over her little head :) x

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  9. notSupermum - Yeah either that or she's just used to seeing naked men!!!

    missleslieanne - I know - luckily I could laugh about it though because she just didn't seem to notice. Bless her.

    BiB - I think the fact that her reading is so good is what saved her in this instance - she's just obsessed with letters and tries to read everything...but she's 5 in a month and has done a whole year at school now so I think she's the same as all her little friends. And yes - what were they thinking leaving those magazines outside a nursery?? She also picked up leaflets on addiction...!!

    Maddie - I don't know why...but these sorts of things always seem to happen to us! And yes, you're right - I can imagine it as a scene too...would be funny.

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  10. allgrownup - I know - only in Brighton!! And thanks for asking - yes we're all feeling much better thanks. In the end I think I was really late in posting the swine flu piece because it seems we recovered really quickly - but in actual fact we were ill all week...I just didn't have the energy to write about it until we were almost on the mend. Hope your little one is ok and that it's just something small xx

    Met Mum - Hee hee...I know - I know!!! I was driving along, looking out of the window not even listening to what Renée was saying. And that's what happens! To be fair, she does often have verbal diarrhea so it's hard not to switch off sometimes...I think I realised just in time though!!! Unless the reason why she didn't mention the picture is that she's too disturbed!! Hope not ;-)) xx

    MAM - Oh yes - all this to look forward to and more. Such joys... :-))) xx

    wob - Yes I think you're right (thankfully)!! Even I don't really fancy a 'talk' about naughty things like that with my 4 year old. Not yet anyway!

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  11. Too too funny for words. At least you rescued it from Renee before the Show 'n' Tell at school....That would have made the teacher's day!

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  12. That's so funny. My eldest is starting to read. I suppose I'd better start paying attention.

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  13. Oh my goodness, that's shocking. Just glad she didn't notice the photo.

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  14. Mamma Po - Oh you're so right - I didn't even think about that? Imagine the shame?!! Phew is all I can say...

    Mwa - It was something I never even thought about...you have to be so on the ball with children!

    magnumlady - I know - so odd that she didn't - I think she just starte dreading the letters... (either that or she doesn't see a naked man as something strange)!!

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  15. It's when she tells Grandma you need to start really worrying...

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  16. Oh crikey! Hilarious! But at the same time I can imagine your heart probably stopped for a moment as your realized what she was reading. ha!

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  17. LOL ... this is a pure sitcom moment like Maddie said! Sorry shouldn't laugh, but I bet you tell that story a hundred times now!

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  18. OMG! That's so funny! What a good girl practising her reading!!!

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  19. Save that story to tell when she brings her boyfriend home!!!

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  20. Mental note: If taking the little one into Brighton watch out for interesting reading material. At least she read it out to you and didn't just carry it round with her all day!

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  21. Sally - Ooh I hadn't thought of that!! Yes, that could have been embarrassing!

    Lady Mama - Yes it was rather a comedy moment as I was driving along, depserately trying to subtley wrestle it from her hands!!

    OMG - I don't know why these things always happen to me, but they do!! Makes for a good story I guess!

    Sandy - I know - bless the little sausage - she's very earnest and I don't think she had any idea what she was reading!! I think they're all like that when they start - beginning to understand what letters mean is such a novelty - she reads the sides of lorries when we're driving and billboards, etc. Didn't expect her to read a men's magazine, but there you go...

    Jen - Ooh yes, I'll have a whole books-worth of stories saved by then!!

    Dancinfairy - I knwo - can you imagine is she'd just put it in hr school bag or something - and whipped it out when she got to school. Thank goodness it was all over before we got there. Now that really would have been too shameful!!

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  22. Yikes! Let's hope she doesn't see the same magazine again when you're anywhere in public. "Look mummy, there's the size matters anal" magazine I was reading last week!

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  23. I got through! I got through! And learned far more than I wanted to. Aaargh, vile. Yes, let's hope it doesn't get referred to as Mummy's Magazine.

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  24. Ooops! Not the best beginner reading material, but I suppose it at least gave mummy something to look at!

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  25. Hot Cross Mum - Hello and welcome! Hee hee - I know! Imagine the shame then. I'll have to style it out...!

    Milla - Yay - celebrations in order I think! Sorry it took you so long...hope it wasn't too disappointing after all that! Yes, indeed - Mummy's magazine...it has since been thrown away - I just hope the bin men don't find it!!

    Kate - Hi there! Thanks ;-))

    clarey - Ooh you naughty thing!!! I may have snuck a quick peep!!! xx

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  26. So funny!!! I have just realised I am way behind on your posts - they aren't showing up on my dashboard - such a pity as they always make me laugh (your antics as well as your childrens') and are a good way to start the day - now I will have to go to all the effort of actually going straight to your blog to see if you have added anything!!

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  27. Kathryn - Thanks! But oh no - how annoying! Hmmm....Seems like blogger is playing up in all sorts of ways. It did ahppen to me (with someone else's blog) and I think it eventually sorted itself out. Fingers crossed it will with you too. Hope so!!

    DD - ;-)) xx

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  28. really shocking..............

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  29. Eek.. OMG I would've crashed the car I think! Made me chortle though! Hope you're feeling better now. Have left an award for you at mine lovely lady! xx

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  30. It's a good job Amy hadn't picked it up!

    CJ xx

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  31. Oh my!! Colin is just starting to sound out words, and I definitely know what you mean about zoning out. I know that a "good mom" would hang on every word he says, but I can't help multitasking sometimes and not paying full attention (because, you know, it just goes sooooo slowly ...). Therefore, I can totally see how easy it would be to not notice something like that. :)

    Unfortunate, maybe ... but hilarious!

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  32. NPT - shocking indeed!

    That Girl - Thansk you lovely lady - have just posted about it. And yes, am very surprised I didn't crash the car!!

    CJ - Oh don't!! I wonder what she would have made of it!!

    Rita - Thanks for the empathy - yes it's easy to zone out - Renée does love a good natter so it's hard to concentrate on what she's saying 100% of the time - just typical I chose that very important moment!!

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  33. Hahahaha! I think I was 12 before I stumbled across one of those magazines. The articles were very interesting, indeed ; )

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  34. Outside the nursery are they crazy! Good girl for wanting to read but I think I would have a little talk with the nursery staff. Funny, yes very funny.

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  35. Wow... just... wow... you know at some point this is goign to get mentioned though... too good to be true if it wasn't!!

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  36. Hilarious! Only in Brighton. It's lovely that Renée is so into her reading, though. And well-handled *cough* on your part!

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  37. SAH-I-AM - Crikey - yes am not sure how old I was - I hardly remember the 'first time'!! - but I'm sure it wasn't as young as 4!!

    passions - I know - incredibly bad positioning - although it's nothing to do with the nursery really - it's all part of the community centre where they have meetings for all sorts of groups - from Weightwatchers to Alcoholics Anonymous!! Will just have to direct my children a bit better in future...

    Sparx - I know - I'm waiting for it, but nothing so far. We've just got back from a long drive and R was doing the same thing - she was reading a Costa coffee cup and asking what it said - and I turned to my husband and said 'Here we go - she's going to mention that magazine - but she didn't. Odd, very odd.

    Tasha - Yes indeed - only in Brighton - and not really sure if I handled it so well - should really have noticed what she was reading int he first place I think! But thanks xx

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  38. That is hilarious (sorry, but it is!)

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  39. Iota - Thanks!! I like hilarious. Dangerous...and stupid, but hilarious! Silly me for not realising!

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  40. Oh my Lord that brings back memories of Miss E and a doctor's waiting room. Hee hee. And what a good reader she is. :D

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  41. Jo - Ooh do tell - now I'm intrigued!! Yeah, R has picked things up in a doctor's waiting room before - a leaflet about how to stop smoking and avoiding haemmorages were the last two!! And yeah she's doing pretty well with her reading - although she has done a whole year of Reception...it just so happens that she's the youngest in her year.

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