May 03, 2010

Someone Needs Their Mouth Washed With Soap

In the last two weeks, my daughters have, shall we say, expanded their vocabulary. It all started one day when I was at work. Hubby was folding laundry and Roo came around the corner to tell him Tortilla had called her "the b word"... except she didn't say "b word," she said the actual word. Hubby, to his credit, did not freak out. Instead he explained to the girls that some words are naughty and we should never use them. When I came home and heard the story, I had a similar conversation with Tortilla. She claimed to have learned the word at school when a classmate called her that word. So, I had a brief conversation with the teacher because I just wanted her to know a bad word might be circulating the classroom. I didn't raise a stink, I just told her the word had been used and Tortilla said she learned it at school. The teacher wasn't surprised and I got the impression that she's had similar issues with this particular student. I haven't heard the word used since that day, so I'm pretty sure it has been forgotten.
Then on Saturday I was enjoying a nice leisurely afternoon in the backyard with the girls. One of our neighbors came out to yell at his dog. "Get the F over here," he shouted, except he didn't say F, he dropped the actual F Bomb. "Hey!" I admonished... not really sure what to say after that. He seemed startled, looked at me, then looked at the girls and went back inside. I don't know him that well. Part of me wants to go knock on his door and unleash my own string of F Bombs, but we've never had an issue with him before so I'm hoping it was just a momentary lapse. The girls didn't seem to notice any of the words he was using, so I'm hoping to NOT hear any F Bombs dropped in my house anytime soon.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not opposed to swearing... if that makes any sense. It doesn't offend me in movies. I've been known to utter a blue streak when I'm angry... but NEVER in front of my kids. When I let them watch Dr. Doolittle (it might have been the second one, I don't remember) I turned it off as soon as one of the characters said "damn." Not appropriate for kids! When the girls asked me why I turned it off, I explained to them that there were naughty words in the movie. They still talk about how we can't watch that movie because of the naughty words.
I know my daughters are going to hear these words. I know eventually they are going to say them... and I've got my bar of soap nearby for when that happens... although I may have to lend the soap to my neighbor if he keeps up this behavior.


Stephanie Barr said...

This is one of the things I can't say I've shielded my youngest from. Perhaps it's because my eldest is a teenager and getting her language within limits is all but impossible, especially if she has a friend with her. Maybe it's because of the language my eldest was exposed to even in gradeschool.

We try to limit the amount of profanity my children are exposed to; I know that this will not shield them from it, even at a young age. Still, I have to say that it's not a priority with me, not when there are so many other things out there that really disturb me.

Stephanie Barr said...

I'm not saying you're wrong to protect them. Everywhere is not the same and I managed to grow up without using much bad language. It might be geographical.

And every parent's priorities are not the same. I didn't mean to imply criticism.

Every parent has to choose battles (and I could see not wanting to get into profanity battles with four same age girls making a great deal of sense); I just chose to make my battles elsewhere.

I wish you luck in holding it at bay.

Quadmama said...

I don't take it as criticism. I know eventually they're going to hear and use profanity... I just want them to know there is a time and place for it. Hurt yourself and it hurts like a *&%! Well, go ahead and say it. Mad at your parents and want to call them a bad word? Nope, not tolerated. I also think 4 years old is way too young to develop a potty mouth.

Stephanie Barr said...

Because neither of my youngest really speak, particularly my six-year-old, that may also flavor my view. At this point, hearing ANY words from my son's mouth would be a thrill.

I'm the one who's atypical here. I recognize it. And I hope you can keep the swearwords to a minimum at least until middle school. My eldest did pretty good until then.

MaryAnne said...

Good luck with your neighbor!

Roman and Tiffany said...

Roman and I have really tried to work on our potty mouths since Ryla was born but we have a slip up every so often. If Ryla hears the bad word we try to "punish" the other person (naughty step)and expalin to her that it is a bad word.

About a month ago, Ry was painting and got some paint on her arm. She asked for me to wipe it off which I did but you could still see the paint. She asked again for me to wash the paint off. I told her it was almost bath time and once she finished her craft we would wash it off in the bath.

She looked at me dead in the eye and said "But Mom, I need this F'ing paint off right now!"

We about died! We explained that is a word that should never be said and she immediately starting crying and said she was sorry.

Children pay attention to everything!

Quadmama said...

OMG Tiffany... sorry, but that is funny!

Meg said...

Tiffany - that's hilarious!

I remember the first time I realized I needed to keep my potty-mouth in check. It was Christmas morning and we were in a rush to get out to Mass... I said "Oh shit!" (I forget what about) and Mags goes "Oh Shit Mommy!" On CHRISTMAS MORNING. Hahaha. She said it again in the car on the way to Mass but we haven't heard it since!

I'll take full responsibility if my girls start swearing, until they go to school. :)

Quadmama said...

I definitely slip now and then... and then go about my business like nothing happened!

Kim said...

I feel like an old woman saying this, but "it's a different world than when I grew up." I feel sad reading comments from women who think it's no big deal to swear around kids—not meant as personal criticism, as I respect an individual's right to live her life and raise her children as she sees fit, but I guess I'm just old-fashioned about decorum and courtesy extending to one's language, especially in front of children and strangers.

Sometimes I feel like our culture has morphed into a really selfish one, where one person's impulse to rant and rave supercedes what used to be the norm: thoughtfulness and consideration of others. Honestly, I don't mean to sound like Miss Priss or anything, and I'm certainly guilty of saying things that I regret—I don't mean to offend, just wanted to present another side to the discussion. Carry on!

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