Thursday, July 21, 2011

469. I Swear

So talk turns, as often does, to neighbor children who may or may not be a bad influence on my darling perfect little angels. But this time, it is not The Husband and I discussing our children’s entire futures see-sawing between either President or inmate #8730295, it is Tall and Short.

“Mommy, I don’t think we should have Davis over again,” says Short earnestly, “because he says bad words.”

This is news to me. We have known Davis forever, and that kid is the Stepford child of the block: polite, helpful, happy, and well-mannered. If anyone is being swayed here, Short himself might be the corruptor instead of the corruptee.

“Don’t be silly,” I say dismissively, “I’m very good friends with his mom and I know she would never allow Davis to use a bad word.”

“It’s true, Mom,” interjects Tall for the first time, “I heard him.”

Curiosity is getting the better of me. “What word?”

Short looks at me, then back at his brother. “The ‘S’ word.”

Yikes. I guess I was wrong about this Davis kid. We never say the ‘S’ word in our family, so if my two sons heard it, then definitely it had to be—

Shut up? Was that the ‘S’ word?” The synapses in my antique brain are finally connecting that Davis might have said a less bad bad word.

“No,” whispers Short, “not that ‘S’ word, the other one.” He puts his little hands over his lips, as if he is willing the horrible aberration to stay way in the back of his mouth.

Well, it was a good try. It could have been shut up. It looks like we will have to ban Davis after all. One day the ‘S’ word, the next day, the ‘F’ word. No, thank you, bratty Davis, I do not need to take chances like that around my precious children. Should I call Davis’s mother? Isn’t it only fair to let her know why her name is being forever deleted from my cell phone?

Another synapse in my brain sparks and fizzles, like a leftover firework on the 5th of July. Maybe Davis said “ship,” as in boat! Maybe my (slightly deaf? should I get their hearing checked out?) kids misinterpreted sweet little Davis talking about water transportation vehicles like barges and ferries and boats and ships. Aha, this had to be it!

“Tall, uh, just to confirm, uh, which ‘S’ word was it exactly that Davis said?”

“You’re going to be mad, Mom,” he shakes his blond head, hair still wet from swimming lessons. “I don’t really want to be a tattle-tale.”

“It’s okay, you can tell me,” I nod at him helpfully.

“All right, I'll just whisper it to you then.” He walks over to me, and leans his sunburnt face close to mine.  I can feel his warm breath on my cheek, like a friendly puppy.  He carefully cups his hand around my ear.


Which is how I feel right now.



  1. My son started crying and praying last night because a kid at his daycare said his sister was a "crybaby"...I was know that's really kind of true and not that bad, right? And he looked at me like I was Satan.

  2. oh, the "C" word-- I knew your blog was adult-only content, Mary! ;)

    When Tall was about 2 and half and very mad at me one day about some minor transgression like purchasing the wrong flavored jello, he blurted out, "You are a really really really mean girl, Mommy!" That was the best he could do with the "bad" words we had given him as examples. I had to fight hard to suppress a smile.


  3. My girlfriend's little boy came running in to tattle on his sister: "Mom!! Anshley said the 'B' word."

    Really? The 'B' word from a six year old.

    Turns out she'd said "bra..."

  4. Hahahahahahaha bra. That's hilarious.
    Mov is it wrong that I would have been complimented by the use of the term "girl" I would've probably thanked Tall for making me feel young and cute again.

  5. We've told our kids they can use the "s" word when referring to computers. Because, well, you know, we the parents can't control ourselves when the "s" computer is acting up.

  6. oh that's just sweet! poor little Pie is going to have quite a vocabulary from me...

    when i was a kid i showed my dad a drawing that I had done, and he said it was "stupendous" I ran to my room and cried. he was totally baffled. i was finally able to sob words out to tell him that i thought that stupendous meant stupid. he never used a big word again.

  7. Ahahahaha that is priceless! I remember when Aladdin first came out and Iago said "jerk." I was SO shocked that people giggled a little then got over it. That was such a bad word, especially for a Disney movie! Then I called one of my big brothers a jerk right in front of my mom to see what would happen. Nothing. Not even The Look. A new door opened that day, for better or worse.


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