The "C" Word is Confused.
Less than thirty seconds after my sons confirmed that they were "clicked-in" to the back seat of my van, my eldest - a third grader - piped up with a laugh, "I know the 'A' word!" His Kindergartner brother giggled along. "Do you want to know what it is?" my eldest laughed.
I wasn't worried. After all, to him, the "S" word is "stupid." The "L" word is "lame." The "I" word is "idiot." And that big-wig of 'em all, the "F" word is "fart."
"It is..." and he actually said it. The real "A" word.
I didn't flinch. It is about time, I thought. And what better opportunity to have this discussion than when we're all stuck in the van. Surely it was better timing than at the dinner table with my parents present, or in a public space in earshot of disapproving elders or fellow parents.
In the background, I heard my Kindergartner say, "Yeah, I know that. And I also know..." and he proceeded to make a rather funny rhyme using the actual "F" word. I had to stifle both a laugh and my shock. But his older brother was so giddy about the alternative name for his posterior that he completely missed learning something from his little brother. (Or, he may have believed his younger brother was just using nonsense words.)
I ignored my Kindergartner's proclamation and focused towards my third-grader. "Yes, that's true. And you know what it means, right?" I didn't even pause, "It means 'butt.' It means 'rear end.' It means 'derriere.' And you know what I've told you about potty talk."
Both my sons giggled wildly.
"You'll get in trouble if you use that word," This time I did pause a bit, partially for effect, and partially to gauge the laughter-level. "You'll get sent to the principal's office if you use that word or any other 'bad' word."
My Kindergartner piped up with an accurate account of how certain individuals in our family use the "F" word all the time.
"Yes, but we shouldn't." I launched into another "principal's office" threat while acknowledging that these words were for everyday things, but just a way to say them crudely. (No, I didn't repeat the "F" word, nor did I say what it meant - that discussion is for another day.)Continued on the next page