I mentioned in my post He’s a Boy that I trained my Doodle to call women pretty ladies. He’s been calling them that since he could barely pronounce it, “widdy wadee.” This started as just a fun way to make people smile whenever we went out and about. After so long of catching all of the reactions he created, I realized what a beautiful thing I was teaching him. It doesn’t matter what she looks like, she’s a pretty lady, and she deserves to be told that. Especially by this handsome heartbreaker.
We’ll be driving somewhere and I’ll remind him, “You think we’ll see some pretty ladies at the store today?” “Yeah, wots of pwitty wadies,” he’ll respond. I’ll remind him regularly, just so he remembers to actually say it to them when he sees them. Occasionally he’ll get a little shy, clam up, and whisper to me as the pretty lady passes, “weally weally pwitty wady.”
Now, I obviously don’t mind him flirting with the ladies when we’re out. Luckily, Jake doesn’t take Doodle out and about by himself often enough for women to think he’s a single guy using this darling toddler as a way to “score chicks”. And I really don’t mind that he only has a name for the women we meet in our travels because I don’t really want to promote flirting with men (that’s not to say that should the time come where he wants to flirt with boys that I’d be upset about it or anything), and I really wouldn’t want men to think that I was using this darling toddler to “score dudes” – probably wouldn’t be the best of tactics anyway.
But the time came where Doodle was flirting with a woman while her husband was right next to her. We were sitting at Taco Bell a few months ago, and my goodness there were a ton of pretty ladies there! Seriously, it was like ladies’ night! But right across from us there was a couple happily eating their burritos and things. Doodle had likely seen men near his “pretty ladies” before, but it had seemingly never occurred to him until this very moment that he was neglecting to acknowledge them.
So he says to me, as he’s pointing out all of these pretty ladies, “Mommy, and dat’s a pwitty wady.” “Yes, Doodle, that’s a pretty lady.” She starts to swoon as she catches on to what he’s said, and the world is good for a brief moment. Then Doodle continues, as he points toward the man, “And dat’s a pw-”
I quickly interfere, “That is not a pretty lady, that’s a man.” The couple laughs, but I’m mortified! Doodle repeats, “Not a pwitty wady, dat’s a man.” I realize how perhaps uncouth that exact phrase might be, so I try to skip the “not pretty lady part” (my bad) and just confirm, “Yes, Doodle, that’s a man.” So we continue our meal while Doodle points to each person in the restaurant, calling each either pretty ladies or men. I think we’re in the clear.
Well, if you know much about kids, you know that they always learn the things you don’t want them to, and they never forget what you do want them to. So we’re strolling around Goodwill shortly after, and as we’re looking at the racks of small person clothes, there’s an adorable woman at least 11 months pregnant also skimming the rack. And then Doodle drops his equivalent to the F-bomb on me, “Mommy, dat’s not a pwitty wady!”
My heart drops. Did she hear him? She had to have heard him. Oh my dear lord, please tell me she didn’t hear him! I quickly glance to see if she has a reaction, and it looks like she was distracted. Halle-freaking-lujah, trumpets and angels! So in an instant I answer Doodle, “That is a pretty lady, huh?” “Yeah, weally WEALLY pwitty wady!” She noticed that one! And her look of pure joy seeing my darling Doodle give her such a compliment was the greatest thing in the world!
You have no idea how many women have responded to him that he just made their entire day or even week. It does, however, still baffle me when he says, “Bye bye, pwitty wady,” and they respond, “Bye bye, pretty girl.” Seriously?!