Parenting seems to introduce a lot of different levels of censorship. Each being introduced as your child gets older.
At first its your social life. All traces of which are thrown out the window in the early years. Evenings out become scarce and are rationed according to time willing babysitters may allow you. There is still a curfew though. Suddenly instilled again after a 15 years gap from when you were a teen.
Then there’s the taking over of your television. Documentaries, sitcoms, and any movies over the PG rating is replaced by CBeebies, Nick Junior and that bloomin Peppa Pig.
Then comes the censoring of your radio as you realise that 90% of even radio edit songs sound SO wrong out of a 3 year olds mouth. You contemplate whether it is your time to switch over to BBC Radio 4, you would prefer death by CBeebies songs or just drive in total silence and have Little Z do acoustic versions of Jingle Bells in April.
As Little Z gets older and his speech and understanding of his world develops, so does a new level of censorship in our house. That of conversation. And any household bickering. He has entered the stage of absorbing key phrases and sentences in about a nanosecond and then, of course, repeating them at the most inappropriate of times. Usually in front of family and friends. Sometimes to the Tesco and takeaway delivery man and occasionally to people passing by.
We have stood squirming, sometimes nervously laughing and mostly denying all understanding of when Little Z has blurted out nicknames only used in the house to people we know or when he has revealed that we are going on holiday before we’ve told anyone ourselves.
In the last week the takeaway delivery man has been given an impromptu 20 second account of how Daddys car was “broken” when he had his windscreen shield fixed, the family have been told how we are going on holiday because, in his words, “I NEED a holiday” and random people have been told about how his cousin brought him a camel. (Toy, not real).
Then one day last week I was greeted by my slightly bemused Dad who had been entertaining Little Z during one of my work days. During one of their many conversations Little Z had randomly shouted:
“You promised you’d clean the bathroom!!”
Of course I had no idea where he could have possibly got that from. Umm. Obviously.