「俺様の筋肉」と親ばかの構図

「どこでそんな言葉を覚えたんだ?」と、3歳の娘の発する言葉に驚かされることが多い。娘はまだ幼稚園にも行っていないし、テレビもほとんど見ない。(多分、平均すると月に1、2時間くらいか?)

だから、私と妻が普段、絶対に使わない言葉を娘が使うと、ただ驚くしかない。最近妻が驚いたのが、「俺様の筋肉」。突如、3歳の娘が、そんな言葉を発したそうだ。私は自分のことを「俺」と言ったことはない。もちろん「俺様の筋肉」という言葉もだ。そして、おそらく妻も同じはずだ。

いったい、誰がその言葉を教えてくれたの?そう娘に訪ねると、最近よく「アロエさんだよ!」と応える。「アロエさん??」意味がよくわからないが、私も妻もそれ以上はつっこまない。「そう、アロエさんか・・・」と。

先週末、私は靴を新調した。そのために靴箱に入りきらなくなった靴を、娘が無理やり、靴箱の下の狭い隙間にうんうんと押し込んでいた。靴のつま先部分だけは、狭いスペースに入るのだが、かかとの部分はどう見ても無理だ。それを見た妻が、私と娘に「頭隠してだね!」と声をかけると、娘が即座に、「そうだね。尻隠さずだね!」と応じた。

いや、驚いた。私も妻も、娘の前で「頭隠して、尻隠さず」という言葉を言った記憶がない。それにもかかわらず、「頭隠して」という言葉に応じて躊躇なく「尻隠さず」という言葉を発し、その言葉を使った状況と意味も理解しているようであった。この子は天才かも。そう思った。

数ヶ月前の読書会で、熊さんが、とある本の紹介の際、「2歳児は言語習得の天才」ということを話していた。だから、基本的には、幼い子供はそういうものなのだろう。誰もがわが子を「天才だ!」と思うのだろう。これは典型的な「親ばか」の構図なのだ。そう理解している。

そう理解してはいるのだが。。。
休日の朝、妻と会話している際、私が別のことを考えながら、適当に「うん、うん」と応えていた。やがて、僕が妻の話を何も理解していなかったことが判明すると、なんだか、妻が可哀そうな状況に陥っていた。そんな私と妻のやりとを見ていた娘が冗談めかして楽しそうに呟いた。「悲劇のお母さん♪」。

僕も妻もただ驚いた。「悲劇」という言葉の入手先は? その使い方を教えてくれたは誰?と。僕も妻も「悲劇」という言葉を家庭で使った記憶はない。これまで読んだ絵本にも「悲劇」という言葉はないはずだ。娘はまだ3歳。きっと天才だ!

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