On the long ride home from the cottage, we cued up the iPad on shuffle-play, and just let the tunes hit us. We have all kinds of music on it, and since we’ve never really cowed to the children’s musical tastes, we’re gleefully free of Itsy Bitsy Spider-type songs, and anything by The Wiggles. It’s good for them, anyhow – a varied musical education is important, dammit.
The downside is most of the music is… um… decidedly grown-up.
I hear the soulful, raspy crooning of Lauren Hill, and think, “The Fugees… wicked!! I didn’t even know this album was on here…” and my head starts bobbing on my neck as the beat drops one-two, one-two.
Soon I hear the familiar plucking sound of Madame’s left thumb leaving her mouth, and she says, “Mummy? That lady said motherf*&%ker,” and she pops her thumb back into her mouth.
I let my head sag into the headrest and roll my head to the side to look at my husband, who draws his top lip between his teeth to keep from laughing. He won’t even look at me. I am on my own.
“Ah… yes, she did.”
Slurping noise. “Well, she’s not a lady then if she says motherf*&%ker. Because we’re not supposed to say motherf*&%ker, because motherf*&%ker is a bad word. And we get in trouble if we say motherf*&%ker.” I can hear her grinning without even having to turn around. Picking up on other people’s swear words has been a favourite pastime of hers for a while now. Little pitchers have big ears, and this kid hears everything. And she thinks she is soooooo clever, you see.
Sly & Dangerous.
A blue-streaker in the making… just like her mama Lauren Hill.
“Ava Scarlett, I heard her say it. Her name is Lauren Hill, and she’s a singer. Sometimes grown-ups say these things, but you don’t need to repeat them. You know better than that.”
Oliver pipes up and asks, “But why is it okay for adults and not for kids to say?”
I look at Martin who is very busy driving and he refuses to look in my direction.
“Well, um… well….” Martin makes no motion to help me at all. Jerk-ass jerk. “Well… swear words are used for emphasis, when you want to make a strong point about something. They’re used on purpose. But, they’re also kind of lazy. You can’t use them all the time.”
“Oh, ” Oliver says.
“Yeah, and adults know ALL the words, so when they choose a swear word, it’s because it fits better than any of the others they can think of. Children don’t know ALL the words yet. You’re still learning them. You have to read a lot. And it sounds pretty disgusting when a child says rude words like that. When you hear, You kiss your mother with that mouth? that’s said back to someone who has just finished swearing a blue streak that’s so disgusting, you can’t believe they’d use that toilet-caca-mouth to kiss their own mother. You understand? It’s not very polite. There are other words to use, you know? You can think of better ones.”
“But nobody knows ALL the words,” he says by way of concession. I shoot him a look that says, come on, man.
“Oliver said shit once.” Her sly eyes glance at him, and she grins. What a bum.
I shout, “Ava Scarlett! KNOCK it OFF!! Stop repeating! Please!!”
“Well, he did!”
“No I didn’t!!” Oliver is giggling up a storm, and weakly protesting.
“Holy crap, you guys.” Peals of laughter ensue, and I turn my face to the window so they can’t see me smiling. Trying to raise decent kids is hard, yo.
This is part of the reason why I blog – so I can use ALL the swears I know, sometimes in a single sentence. And yes, I do kiss my internets with this mouth…
Do you swear at home? Are your kids repeaters?