Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because a child cannot express themselves they are not capable of taking in everything YOU say.

I got a phone call from Freddie’s teacher.

‘I’m afraid I’ve got some not-very-good-news,’ she said.

My stomach leapt into my throat. Had Daddy forgotten to pick him up for his orthotics appointment? Had the school staff noticed some alarming new symptom?

‘I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but Freddie said a swear-word in class, probably at the instigation of another child.’ She proceeded to tell me what he’d said, though I could tell from her tone of voice that she was loath to repeat it.

Now, a lot of the time my life is fairly typical — I’m sure I’m not the only parent who’s ever had a message like that from school. My reaction, though, was probably NOT a typical one.

‘Oh! Well, his speech must’ve been nice and clear, then…’

Funny how we’ve been struggling to pronounce ‘banana’ for years, but the first time he hears the word ‘b***er’ he can repeat it perfectly.


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