Wednesday, 27 April 2016

My four year old's favourite word

M’s favourite word is "never". Her favourite phrase is "never ever". Not only does she like to shout these out when I ask her to do something, but sometimes she just randomly shouts "never" for no apparent reason.

M has a wide vocabulary and is frequently surprising me with some of the words she knows, "Wowsers" is one of my favourites. Despite her knowing a huge range of words "never" seems to be the one most frequently used.
While watching Jake And The Neverland Pirates this morning I noticed that Captain Hook said that very word: “Never!!!”. So despite consciously preferring Izzy and choosing her in role play, M's inner child is identifying with the ineffectual and naughty Hook. 

I'm trying to find positives about the character, but let's face it there isn't much to love. Disney have made him constantly fail and rather stupid because this makes him less scary. Obviously good always has to win in a children's TV programme, I get that, but the kids aren't meant to associate with the baddies are they? At least Hook loves his mummy.

Maybe I am reading too much into it? Maybe M doesn't really want to go around and steal treasure with a crew of odd men she can bully. Maybe "never" is just a much better word to shout to sum up her frustration with the world than the more normally used "no". It has the great benefits of an extra syllable allowing her to stretch the word out and increase in decimals.

Let's face it a 4 year old has no concept of just how long never is. I can tell her I will never ever stop loving her, but it feels slightly undermined when at the same time she is shouting that she will never put her shoes away.

We have a daily battle of wills. I am very stubborn, so is she. Who can hold out longest? M with her requests (and tantrum) demanding to watch TV or it will break her heart (where did she get that phrase from?) or me with my refusal to let her watch TV while she is being naughty. M is single minded in her demands, but easily distracted. I have other things to consider: mainly if I give in this time, she'll expect it next time and the noise level of the tantrum is disturbing the baby and the neighbours up to six streets away.


Apparently I never let M do what she wants to do, other than all the times that I do that she forgets about. It's much easier for her to remember all the times I say "no" or "not now". Maybe I should get a pirate captain's hat, a red coat and start saying "never!”?
Captain Kate!

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