I must first qualify the following post with some vital information, lest you commence to judging me on my parenting prowess.
Long before children, I gave up cursing. Out loud. (Still working on the voices inside of my head, as I have little control over them.) My children do not watch network television, they are homeschooled, which means that we spend A GREAT DEAL OF TIME TOGETHER. Hence, the twitching.
All that to say, to them, the list of known curse words can be condensed to just a few: stupid, butt, fart, and fat. These are words guaranteed to land them in Fiddle Jail.
Not long ago, Cailey went through a little obstinate phase. Well. Truth be told, she came out of the womb with orange brillo pad hair, a fiery temper, and a strong will. She was the most strong willed child I’ve ever seen. Until Jensen, that is.
For a season, anytime she would not get her way, she would stomp her little 6 year old foot, and emphatically announce, “FINE!”
She soon tired of Fiddle Jail Cell #2, and stopped with all the FINE business. Unfortunately, young Jensen picked up that ball and ran with it. When things did not go as he wished, he would stomp his little 3 year old foot and holler, “FINE!” But with a southern accent. I don’t know where a southern accent came from, I’m just guessing he’s channeling my mother.
We had to tell him that FINE was disrespectful, and he needed to change his response to “yes sir, daddy”, or “yes, ma’am, mommy.” He didn’t care for that, so he tried a different tactic. He figured, if he just changed up the word “FINE” with a different consonant on the end, he could continue to let us know he was displeased. And avoid punishment.
So, FINE morphed into FAT. Not crazy about that word, I continued to correct him. So, he altered it yet again. And this time it became FACK. Only, with his newfound southern accent, the short “a”, has evolved into the short “u” sound, and well, you know where this is going.
The first time I heard this come out of my small boy’s mouth, I looked up to see Fiddledaddy peering around the corner with wide eyes.
“What did he say?”
Quickly, we scurried to the front of the house. Away from listening ears.
“Truth. Have you ever said that word around him?”
“NO. Have you?”
Now, I know that should I freak out and let him even think that F*CK is a bad word, it will be the only word he utters for the rest of my natural life. Which is shortening, by the minute.
Calmly, oh so calmly, I firmly tell him how he needs to respond when he doesn’t get his way. And I just begin to think he’s getting it.
Yesterday, I took the children to the nice quiet library. Where everyone speaks in hushed tones, and the birds are singing while all is well with the world.
And it happens.
When I don’t let him relieve the video shelves of all the alphabetized movies, he goes batty and hollers, “FACK, MOMMY. FACK, FACK, FACK.” But remember, we’re leaning heavily on a short “u” sound.
All heads turn. My daughters are both oblivious, because Jensen makes up words all the time. Like FACK.
As quickly as I’ve ever moved, I had all three children, 35 books, 5 DVDs, and one library card at the service desk. I helped the librarian insert the cards into the books, just to speed things along. FACK, FACK, FACK, MOMMY!
If judgmental looks could kill, I would have been vaporized. Right there on the library flooring. I instructed the girls to wheel Jensen out into the lobby and wait for me there. Mercifully, I hauled everything out to my waiting offspring, only to be told by all 3 of them that they needed to pee.
Kill me now, God. Just put me out of my misery.
You know what’s fun? The way the bathroom magnifies sound. FACK FACK FACK, MOMMY!
We haven’t left the house since then. I kid you not. We have everything we need here. Plenty of reading material. Entertainment. The freezer is full.
And if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may recall the story of when Cailey was about 2. She pronounced “fireworks” by throwing up her little hands into the air and yelling “F*CK UP.” Which was all well and good until our old church showed a video depicting a 4th of July celebration. With fireworks.
I emphasize the term “old” church.
When the reading materials are due, I’ll be utilizing the drop shoot at our “old library.” If we ever leave the house again, that is.