Cradle to Grave: The Repetitions of Mrs Nussbaum in a Clinic of Thought
I walked out of the corner shop today. Passed a group of about five kids 12 or 13 , one was very overweight with a fresh bloody mark below his lip. As I passed them he said
“aye so that’s whit yea dea, rub a stinging nettle in ma face.”
One of the other kids responded “no when a said ye should buy a prostitute, I wiz only joking”
I think he may have been trying to diffuse the situation with thoughts of potential parent involvement looming and whizzing through his mind, knowing he was in a bit of a no win situation on the excuse front. Anyway they were nearing home territory.
Was a somewhat memorable response whatever the motive.
Reminded me of a conversation in Scot mid, a supermarket at the meat counter some years ago. Same sense of surprise, same underlying emotions bubbling away with a twist.
Two old ladies looking at an ox tongue. The only time I have every come across ox tongue in the flesh is at funerals, as a child. It was highly prized by the most elderly members of my family. A food of the dead and the dying.
Old woman A. Thats a nice piece of tongue!
Old Women B. Aye
Old Woman A. Gives seriously disproving look and states. “I dinea (don’t) like tongue!
The only English and formal term the child in the first argument used was prostitute, sounds like he may just learnt a new word and was deploying it in part for effect. His method of attempting to diffuse the situation ” A wiz only jokin,” (I gave English spelling first time round for comprehension) is of course commonly deployed in these situations. One other magical word formula used in Scotland on these occasions, which people put a great deal of faith in, is the old well worn classic ‘I wiz just saying’. Inferring that you are either unable to read a social situation correctly, that the speaker is stating an opinion or that the speaker is simply flapping it’s piece of meat, making meaningless meat sounds. Precise meaning is determined by inflection, body movement and facial expression.
When my children use this one I sometimes respond by saying “Ah, so you are simply engaged in a philosophical thought experiment. I would take some time out to reflect on that one, but you can always of course, continue, and we will see where it will lead.” (they are familiar with my sense of humour)
I think it is important that children are given a degree of space and room to reflect on thoughts and action and to reach decisions for themselves with some guidance, but as little as is possible. It is important that they are able to evaluate situations and reach a conclusion on their own, without having it imposed from the heavens. If My children ask me as they often do for an answer I will at first, give them an opinion that is not my own, or one I do not agree with, but present it as a matter of fact. They, question evaluate and will reach a conclusion and understand that it may be possible for them to evaluate information for themselves . That is a good thing.
But I am of course just saying