Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Droppin' da bomb

Warrning, warning, warning, danger, danger, danger...foul language ahead!! Read at your own risk. Really. Any ocular sanguination that ensues is your own bloody (hah!) fault!! You were warned...

I was reading something over at Foolery about the things kids say, and it reminded me of Bird and the F-Bomb. Yes, my darling, sweet, ever so well behaved little gentleman has used the F-Bomb. Two years ago. Which would make him three at the time. Let me regale you!

I am, I believe I've mentioned once or a hundred times, in a band. Being in a band requires either a complete lack of commitment and simply enjoying the noise you make or rehearsing to get it right. I'm a fan of the rehearsal route. To facilitate rehearsals so that the fewest people possible are inconvenienced, we meet in town and not out here in Next-To-Nowhere, Georgia. At the time I'm recounting, we met at B's house, where one of our band members lives.

B has a lovely house, with a pool out back that we have often swum in. She would watch Bird for me while we rehearsed, which was easier as he got older...plunk him in the pool with water-wings on and splash around with him. Happy Bird. Also, tired Bird. Swimming wears a body out!

Sometimes, B's front door sticks - it's hard for a grown-up to open, let alone a (then) three-year-old. On the afternoon in question, Bird had been swimming with B and was worn slap out. As I was gathering our things in another room, Bird was trying to get out to the van. He was having a hard time with the door and was making his growling, fierce, angry-Bird noises. I hurried to the foyer and asked what was the matter. There, with an audience of all nine band members and B, he replied "I can't get the fucking door open."

Stunned silence ensued on the part of the other grown people. I wasn't exactly quiet, but I had to contain my mirth for a moment.

I calmly replied as follows, almost verbatim:

"Bird, don't say fuck. Fuck is a grown-up word. You haven't earned fuck. When you earn fuck, you may say fuck, but until then you may not say fuck. Only grown-ups who have earned fuck may say fuck. I'll tell you when you've earned fuck, but until then you aren't allowed to say fuck. Do you understand?"

"Yes, mommy."

The other adults were shocked - eyes widened, mouths hanging open, nothing but the occasional blink to show they weren't statues. Heh. I so rarely say the word myself, they couldn't believe it. I think I stunned them with my carpet F-Bombing.

Bird was just fine and hasn't used the word since. We've since had the same talk about Hell, Ass, and Shit. No one has to watch their language around him, because he knows he hasn't earned some of the words he hears. When one of his friends uses a grown-up word, he tells them they shouldn't because it's a grown-up word that they haven't earned yet, and I have to keep myself from laughing.

More proof that kids were made to amuse us so we don't smother them in their sleep when they've been horrid.

Also, did you know that the word "fuck" gives spell check hives?? It does...


Blondie said...

That's awesome, I don't think the parents of my preschoolers would approve, But I 'll have to use it with my own kids some day.
PS. Thanks for your encouraging words. Could we possibly have been sisters in a former life? You seem to get exactly what I mean and it makes me kinda sad cuz I know you are in the same situation. I hope you saw the owl today, I think it is a good omen!

Kyddryn said...

I've always thought that kids use adult words for the reaction they get - take away the reaction, take away the need to say shocking things. Also, I don't like telling him he can't say something that I do...at least not without a reason. Eh, it works for me.

I did see the owl today - perched close to the branch tips to soak up the sun, at least until someone riled up the wind and we had some alarming gusts - then our feathered resident decided that being closer to the trunk was just the thing.

Chin up, sugar (I love being in the south, where I can call people sugar!)...we'll muddle through somehow.

foolery said...

I'm very late here (catching up on your many posts I've missed, mostly 'cause I hate to miss ANY). Your reaction was BEAUTIFUL! I will file it in my brain for future use. I'm not sure it will work on my elder daughter who questions EVERY EDICT ad infinitum ad nauseum ad noxious (yeah, so, I just made that one up).

They mostly hear GD from me -- unfortunate that I can't control myself, but I need SOME outlet for my pent-up Mommy frustration or I'd explode and make a mess on the walls.

Susan said...

THAT is priceless! I love your response. I used to be a school psychologist meaning I got to deal with some of the more delightful, (not), kids. My favorite response to, "Fuck you," was always, "That's not an option for you."

I'll bet you were f-bombing spell check!

Erica said...

I followed the link from your comment on Doodaddy's site. I love your response! That is more or less how Kurt and I plan on tackling it too. I have a feeling my kid is going to turn out like me so I even have an answer for why I can do/say something that she can't. And it's not the, "cause I said so" that I always heard - oh that drove me up the wall as a kid!!