Monday, January 28, 2008

Dirty words

A conversation about/with my son recently:

His teacher: I think you might want to talk to your son. Some other students said he said a bad word.

Me: Which word was it?

Her: ???

Me: I mean, I'll talk to him no matter what. I just wondered which word it was so I might know where he picked it up.
(I didn't tell her I assumed it was "damn," owing to a "dammit-dammit-dammit" montage that had slipped past my and my husband's censoring remote control trigger fingers during prime time.)

Her: Well, I think it was ... (Here there was a pregnant pause, then whispering as if he'd committed manslaughter during arts and crafts. I love kindergarten teachers. They're the only people I know cleaner-mouthed than me.) ... shit. The students all said they heard him say the S word.

Me: Really? I have no idea where he would have picked up that word. (I really didn't.)

Her: (Skeptical, unbelieving evil eye.)

Later in the car:

Me: David, did you get in trouble for saying a word you shouldn't today?

Him: Yeah. I'm sorry. (Here he made the breathy, lip-flappy about-to-cry noise.)

Me: It's OK, as long as you learned not to say it anymore.

Him: Oh, I did! (Long, mucusy, relieved sniff.)

Me: Can you tell me what the word was?

Him: ...

Me: It's OK, if you're telling me to let me know it doesn't count as saying it.

Him: Well ... it was the S word.

Me: The S word? Do you know what that word means?

Him: It means someone's not very smart. But I only was talking about what someone did!

Me: Wait a minute. What exactly did you say?

Him: The S word! (More quietly): Stupid.

Me: Stupid?

Him: Yeah. And I'm sorry. I was only talking about what they did, and it was stupid because it was mean, and I know you told me it's different than calling somebody stupid, but at school we can't say it at all, and I forgot. But I won't say that or any of the other letter words any more.

Me: The other letter words?

Him: Yeah. The F word, the S word, the D word, the C word or the M word. (Getting into it now, clearly pleased with his free pass to say verboten words): We can't say freak, or stupid, or dumb, creep or moron.

Me: (Quietly reveling in the extreme privilege that is having a child who is still a child, and is likely to remain unaware of other forbidden F, S, D, C, and M words for quite some time): That's probably a good idea.

Him: But I heard one of the boys call a girl a poopface. I don't think we should say the P word either.

Me: I think you're right.


dirt said... Best Blogger Tips

Your son never ceases to amaze. I had a bunch of people reading your blog for your last post, btw. You and your son are becoming quite popular. So did you tell the teacher what he really said?

heather said... Best Blogger Tips

I can't tell you how much David reminds me of Tom at that age! Once Tom told a teenager that his mom doesn't want him saying the 'f' word.....Then he whispered, "you know, fart"?

At 8 he still thinks the "s" word is stupid. Keep them innocent!

I was called by Tom's Kindergarten teacher once because he was shooting his finger at kids and there is a no tolerance gun policy at school. I didn't find it funny at the time, but 3 years later I guess it is. Kindergarten was a tough year, he couldn't breathe without doing something wrong.

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for reading, Mary, and thanks to everyone else as well. I hope it's entertaining; it is to me, which is good for keeping my sanity, at any rate. I did tell the teacher the next day what the word was. She lectured me to make sure I still told him it wasn't OK.

David does sound a lot like Tommy. He doesn't usually get into too much trouble, except for talking out of turn (big surprise) and the fact that he has such a clear idea of what is right and wrong -- which is great, until he starts lecturing all the other students. We've definitely got another opinionated Hosey talker on our hands.