So often I am surrounded by girls aged between five and ten. Constantly individuals say things or ask questions that widen my eyes in surprise. I have been a volunteer within these groups for around five years, and yet still I am so regularly surprised by the words that emerge from such young mouths.
After all these years I have come up with two potential reactions to such questions or words;
The casual reply of nothingness, playing down whatever shocking thing that has just come out of their mouth, instead of emphasising it.
The simple, yet occasionally necessary question of “Where did you hear that?”
Once a five year old girl came up to me with innocent eyes, and asked this question simply and plainly;
“Ladybird, what’s a Spinster?”
The confidence in the question highlighted to me that this was a genuine. Now that is quite outdated archaic terminology, and so not something she would have readily come across in her Primary School Syllabus.
Choice – Option two
However I did get an unexpected and unknowingly harsh reply –
“Because my mummy said you’re going to be one”.
It always seems to be a solitary word that shocks.
Another example would be one girl’s response to two others hugging.
“They are like Lesbians”
It was shocking that at seven she was able to both understand the term to some degree as well as put it in to a relevant context.
Choice – Option One.
Though one of my favourites still to this day is a picture. Simply because of the innocent ignorance that inspired the piece of artwork, compared to the deeper meaning visible to the group of fellow volunteers around me.
“Ladybird, would you like some men?”
Yes, I am single.