Peer Pressure

peer pressure

One of my pet hates is the use of the word “haitch” when what the speaker means is “aitch”.

Apologies to those of you who put an “aitch” at the front of the letter “aitch”, but you’re adding a letter that is patently not there.

And now Ben has started doing it.

“All my friends say it like that,” he explains.

“Well they’re wrong,” I say, “and you don’t have to copy them.”

“But I want to be like them.”

Oh dear. Nine years old and a peer-following sheep already.

He’s also started on about wanting a mobile phone, a telly in his room and a laptop of his own which his sister isn’t allowed to use.

Jersey is a more affluent place than Plymouth, and most of his classmates seem to have all these things. Unless they’re fibbing and Ben believes them.

But whether they’re pre-teen fantasists or have each got a multi-media centre in their bedroom, Ben’s having none of these things at the age of nine.

I can’t even imagine who he’d call on his mobile.
His friends?
They spend all the hours between school and tea-time out on their bikes.
They’d have to position themselves at two different ends of the school field in order not to hear each other without the aid of a phone.

His family?
Why would he need to phone us when we’re trying to train him to come home when he’s told to come home, rather than having the option of calling to ask if he can have “just another ten minutes”?

We do need more than one PC though.
Our laptop has just given up the ghost, and my plan is to get myself a spanking new piece of technology and leave the children to share this old dinosaur.
I bought it online while in the early stages of labour with Hannah, and she’s now 7, which in computer terms must make it a relic of a former age.

It freezes regularly and chunters away to itself, happily ignoring all the frantic keyboard commands that it should actually DO something.

But a laptop of his own, kept in his bedroom, is not on Ben’s cards.

We’re having to get used to being the poor relations of everyone we meet here, and I can see it’s going to prompt some increasingly heartfelt arguments between us and the children.

But pronouncing words correctly is free and easy: at least it was, when we were their main focus.

It’s inevitable that we will eventually drop down the pecking order in our children’s hierarchy of people to please.

I just thought we had a few more years yet.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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2 Responses to Peer Pressure

  1. Yes, me too. Have you noticed big corporations always have Haitch R departments?

  2. guineapigmum says:

    My two say jie (as in die) instead of jay (as in jay). It’s what they say at school apparently. Don’t do Haitch though.

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