Friday, 20 March 2009

The Girl and the Welsh

I could write about my daughter almost every day – it’s just a matter of finding the time to write it all down. Tonight she explained that her toys were sliding down a dinosaur to escape. Escape what? I asked.

“They made this slide especially to escape from the naughty, naughty WELSH!” she said. If I’d been drinking something, I would have done a spit-take.

What Welsh, I asked? Who from Wales?

“ALL the Welsh!” she said. “They are the naughtiest of all!”

Why do you think so, I asked in even tones. Was someone on the telly talking about the Welsh? Whether on British or Irish TV, I thought, it’s not like there’s any hateful anti-Welsh rhetoric floating around.

“They just AAAARE,” she said.

We don’t know anyone around here from Wales, and I have no idea why my four-year-old has suddenly developed a prejudice against them. Actually, I told her gently, that’s not true -- most Welsh people are very nice. And there are a few naughty people everywhere -- you know that boy at your school?

“Yes,” she said, looking at me gravely. “He is naughty." She leaned closer. "Like the Welsh.”

Okay, I’m giving up on this tonight, I thought. She has no idea who the Welsh are – she might as well be discussing dragons. I’ll see if this comes up again, and sort it out.


I debated whether to explain the emergency number to The Girl – I didn’t want to scare her, or have her crank-call the police. But I want her to know what to do in an emergency, and she hears it from children’s television anyway. So I explained that, if there is ever a fire or someone is badly hurt, people dial 999 – the British and Irish version of 911 – to call the Gardai (police) or ambulance.

After I had put The Girl to bed, she walked into the living room with her hands covered in blood, and I leapt off the couch – literally – to rush over to her.

Luckily it was just a nosebleed and it quickly stopped, and we wiped her off and changed the sheets.

“You did the right thing coming to us, honey,” I said.

“And I got better right away, and you didn’t have to dial 999 or anything!” she said. Hopefully I never will, I said.

Photo: The Girl near the ruins of Donadea castle.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Welsh reference is because the Irish and Wales teams were playing in the 6 nations rugby today?

Brian Kaller said...

You know, that makes sense -- perhaps she picked it up from another child. I don't come from rugby country, so I'm often oblivious.

We won by two points, I see.

Robin said...

How funny, isn't it amazing what gets into their heads? Beware the Welsh indeed.

Which reminds me of when we were in Italy last year and I was talking to a lady from Scotland and my daughter asked "How do you speak her language mommy? Where is she from?" She couldn't believe that the woman was speaking English.

Robin said...

Then again, maybe she's seen these Welshmen in action:

Brian Kaller said...

As a friend of mine put it, "There are only two things I can't stand -- people who are intolerant of other cultures, and the Welsh."

Scots accents are impenetrable to most Americans until we get used to it -- about ten years ago a Scots movie called "My Name Is Joe" was released in America with subtitles. Now The Girl watches programmes like "Ballamory," which is like a Scots "Sesame Street," and I don't even hear it.

The clip is great -- those guys have way too much time.