Blogger ‘Gigglewick’ has discovered that it’s no longer In/Hip/Trendy/Cool to refer to other human beings as ‘dudes’ any more.
I’m relieved, actually. A few months back, Sapphire was playing with a few of her friends after school in the playground. They love to linger in the grounds then because the bigger kids have escaped and they are free to enjoy the equipment, run around screaming and giggling and just have heaps of fun without looking nervously over their shoulders for an older child mocking them for being ‘babyish’.
As the bored and rather cold parent perched on a sticky, windswept bench seat on the edge, it was time for me to go home. “Come on dudes, let’s go home.”
They froze in their tracks, with expressions ranging from disbelief, shock and disappointment on their faces.
“What.... did..... you..... say....?” Sapphire whispered fiercely.
“Er ‘dudes’. As in the group of you. It’s time to go home.” My voice sounded weak and shrill even to my ears.
“Mum,” Sapphire approached, rolling her eyes and preparing herself for one of her usual ‘Why can’t you be sensible like the other Mums around here’ kind of lectures.
“Mum we are girls, we are not dudes. Dudes are boys, or blokes. Or even guys, fellas, men or lads. We however...” she glanced at her nodding friends, who had also edged in closer, “..are NOT...” her lip curled in distaste, ".....dudes....”
Instead, what Sapphire appreciates are the words I use that are really old fashioned. Most of these are from my grandparents and are so quaint and unusual for kids that they actually stop, listen and admire.
When I was blissfully growing up in Murray Bridge in the 1970s and mid 1980s, I never once heard my mother swear. Lord knows she had many reasons to, mostly due to us three kids. Our hobbies tended to be whining, teasing and fighting each other.
If it wasn't for my brothers, I would not have known how to defend myself from school-yard bullies with well-placed and timely henpecks, dead legs and chinese burns. At home, we regularly flung ourselves furiously at each other: so often that Mum would continue chopping at the vegetables, saying vaguely into the ether, "You should stop that, or somebody might get hurt...."
Her strict methodist upbringing continued to work its magic on her and she avoided the easy temptation to let us know just what dreadful little sh**s we really were.
It is only now, being a mother of just one child myself, that I can truly admire her self control. On one fine Saturday after the end of the movie matinee on the telly, David decided that hammering the brick and cement water tank-stand wasn't fulfilling enough and proceeded to smash through the glass in our front door. He may have been small for his age and prone to regular asthma attacks that rendered him allergic to housework and chores, but boy did he run fast when Mum flew out of the house armed with a wooden spoon. Round and round the silver birch tree they went, Dave's eyes nearly popping out of their little sockets with terror and Mum getting angrier and angrier and struggling to keep yelling and hold her breath.