There are two words in our children’s vocabulary that I wish I could never hear again. “Nuthin” and “dunno”. Nothing makes Fitty and I see red faster than these words.

I called out to 7 the other afternoon upon her arrival home from a day with her friend.

Me:     “Hi, how was your day?”

7:        “Good.”

Me:     “What did you get up to today?”

7:        “Nuthin.”

Me:     “Well you can’t ha- (this is as far as I got, as Fitty has taken to interrupting every single thing I say lately)!

Fitty:  “Rubbish, you can’t have done nothing, you kids blah blah rant rant rave”

7:         Looking panicked, until she looks at me smiling away at her, making the “blah, blah” hand signal.

Me:     “Fitty, perhaps you could go and see what’s happening in your shed? I would just like to ask 7 about her day.”

7:        Watches Fitty retreating, and says, “well, I went for a bike ride and I played with her dad’s dog. It’s just like our Pooh.”

See, she didn’t do nuthin. Turns out she had quite an active day, and the funny thing was, her friends parents had removed all her devices as well. Looks like parents are getting sick of their kids glued to screens.

Later in the day after the evening meal, the usual arguments about the dishes start. 6 doesn’t want to wash the dishes, but is happy to dry them, 8 doesn’t have much of an opinion either way, but doesn’t want to get stuck washing them by default. 7 is nearly in hysterics trying to make sure she doesn’t get her hands wet. It’s time for me to step in. I ask the inevitable question, “who washed the dishes last night?”

“I dunno”, a chorus from all three!

How can they not know? It took several minutes of racking my brain to sort this mess out. Turned out 7 had washed up the night before, (which explained the hysterics.) If only they could remember all those words we taught them as they grew. So many fantastic, descriptive, colourful words, and yet “dunno” and “nuthin” are all we seem to hear when we ask a direct question. It takes time to pull more information out of them, and sometimes I just wish they would KNOW SOMETHING, instead they “dunno nuthin”

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