winging it mum

Cringe – with a capital C!

on January 17, 2012

Have you ever seen someone at the shops that you were sure you knew? Their face was familiar but you just couldn’t place them. What brain games do you do to try to figure out who they are or  to place them in your world?

For me I go through my main networks; groups I belong to, friendship circles, my hobbies, Brett’s peps and then do the same process but for my past connections. My mum goes through the alphabet and thinks of names starting with each letter until she can remember the person’s name. What works for you?

As I was shopping at our local shops the other day I saw someone who seemed familiar to me but struggled to place. Luckily in a supermarket you go up and down aisles. She was doing the same aisles as us but coming from the opposite end, so I got plenty of ponder time and regularly refreshed her image in my mind. But still nothing!

Then Jasmine turned to me and said ” Mum there is one of my kinder teachers”. She seemed excited she had either just had success with her mind game of placement or she had remembered she was about to start 3 year old kinder. I sighed with relief; placement of this familiar face had been achieved!

Jasmine turned back to me and went on to say in her normal loud voice “where is the other FAT one?” ( those of you that have known me for sometime would know I hate the word “fat”, it is overused and not a nice describing word). I was shocked and said “what!”, to which Jasmine said even louder “where is the FAT one?”. I nearly died. I knew we were close enough and she was loud enough to be heard! For the whole next aisle I explained to my darling daughter that is not a nice way to talk about people etc etc; whilst walking ever so slowly, hoping not to come face to face again with my freshly placed kindergarten teacher! Luckily we didn’t meet up again:)

Or was it? As now I am unsure if her remark had been heard? Or if we were placed in her mind now as the rude family? And whether I had handled it appropriately? Surely kindergarten teachers are frequently hit with childlike innocent brutality?

Am I alone or have you to had a similar incident with a huge cringe factor? Please share it with me so I don’t feel such a failure:) haha

Em xx


10 responses to “Cringe – with a capital C!

  1. Gabriel says:

    I never cringe when my girls use words like that. There is no judgement when a kid says ‘fat’ they are just looking for the best word to describe someone and they choose whatever is at hand.
    As a ‘fat’ person I don’t mind being referred to in that way (well, probably just by kids 😉 but I hate it more when I hear mums shooshing their kids out of embarrasment.
    When F asks why that person walks funny, I just speak to her in a normal voice and say ‘perhaps they had an accident or they were born with legs that don’t work like yours do’.
    And when it comes to kinder teachers… I am sure they have heard it all 😉

    • embilee says:

      Hey Gub, this was my first major cringe incident. I cringed because that word in particular I’ve had issues with (so of all the words used it was that one!) and I think I could’ve handled it better. Thanks for sharing with me some great insights and tips!

  2. Leesa says:

    Love it Emily! Yes it happens to all of us, and also for me as a teacher on the reverse end too! When I was fresh out of university I suffered from acne. I used to get all my preppies and grade 1s staring at me and asking why I had red dots all over my face! Believe me, teachers of young kids are used to brutal honesty and most of us think it’s very amusing! All the best with your future Kinder adventures! ox

    • embilee says:

      Hey Leesa that reminds me of when I taught English in Taiwan, the kids thought I was dirty and needed to wash because I was covered in freckles everyday;)

  3. Carly says:

    My eldest daughter once exclaimed “Mum, that man only has one leg!” We were standing right next to him! Luckily enough he was friendly and replied “If you see the other one anywhere can you let me know?” Haha!

  4. Ha ha that’s hilarious!! I couldn’t agree more with Gabriel though.. there’s no problem at all when a small child asks an innocent question and I’m sure that the kindergarten teacher has heard a lot worse! I haven’t really had much of a cringe moment yet with my boy (only a matter of time!!), but I always remember being at a friend’s party and her nephew yelled out at the top of his voice “My mum has a hairy bottom!!” The poor woman in question wished that the ground would swallow her up.. everyone else found it extremely amusing! You’ve gotta love kids!

  5. Andrea Steele says:

    Hillarious Em. Great Blog. Keep it up. No examples to give. My brain is an empty void and if I can’t place someone I usually just can’t place them. 🙂 I remember my sister telling me that her daughter asked someone in front of her “why are you so fat?”. Too funny.

  6. Rachel Dawson says:

    Oh Em! I am sure kindegarteb teachers in particular are not sensitive about these things! We recently visited a friend who had a baby before Christmas zach starts ‘is Blah blah having a baby?’ to which I replied ‘no zach she’s had her baby baby X came from her tummy’ zach looked at me confused ‘then why is her tummy still so big and fat?’ he asked…. Enter awkward pause and me being very patient ‘it’s not zach and sometimes after people have a baby it takes a while for their tummy to go down’….
    Great post Em! Love it!

  7. Adele says:

    I’m with your mum Em. I say the alphabet slowly in my head and I find I pause on the right letter and it’s only a matter of time before I get their name. But if the connection is too distant, I give up. I was trying on clothes in a changeroom the other day and O asked “why are your legs fat?” then followed it up with “oh mummy, that dress looks really nice on you”. I love how children say exactly what’s on their mind, as embarrassing as it can be at times.

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