We look forward to Friday because not only does that mean we’ve finished our homeschooling work for the week, but we can spend the afternoon at the park frolicking with all of our other homeschooling com padres.
I could make a strong case that I look forward to this time far more than the children. Because it is my opportunity to get in that all important socialization time. You know those homeschool mothers, it’s a wonder they can string two sentences together.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyhoo. We have a fairly new and lovely park in a very nice part of town that we frequent each Friday. It is set far back from the parking lot and there is ample sidewalk action to accommodate the many bicycles, rip riders, skate boards, and scooters that we all come armed with.
The mothers congregate under a breezy pavilion, replete with picnic tables, wherein we can perch while keeping a watchful eye on our brood as they play to and fro. The park also boasts of some bright playground equipment for the younger crew. And you could eat from the bathroom floors.
Two Fridays ago we all met at the appointed time. After about 10 minutes, I noticed that nearly all of the children were up in the playground equipment and somehow, they were all congregating in the slide. A few seconds later, my Cailey, the resident narc, made a bee-line to me to inform me that there was some VERY inappropriate language written in permanent marker on the interior of the slide. She leaned over and whispered the words in my ear, taking great care to spell them rather than say them out loud.
And WHAT LUCK. The words in question were all the short vowel words that generally mean a $5 deposit in the cuss jar at our home. My son is finally learning his short vowel words! And impromptu reading lesson. At the park! And for the record. The cuss jar is for the adults who reside here, and even the words spoken in my head count.
A million years ago, prior to children, marriage, and good sense, I spoke like a sailor. So I take great care not to dig up old bad habits, and I am fairly certain that some of those delightful short vowel words my youngest son has never heard. Until now.
We cleared the children from the slide and made a frantic attempt to locate a permanent marker of our own with which to fashion a floral arrangement from the words in question. The best we could come up with was a tube of passion pink lipstick.
I took a chance that the staff of the recreation center would still be in the office on a Friday afternoon, and I called to ask if maintenance had anything that could be used to remove the offending words. Indeed, they did and they assured me the problem would be taken care of. (Not immediately, but soon.)
We closed the slide down to our own children, and bade them seek their fun elsewhere. More than a few times did I have to clasp my hand over my son’s mouth as he began to sound out his new found short vowel words. I tried to explain as best as I could why we cannot speak those words, without telling him what they really mean.
It’s bad enough that his father broke down and told him the proper terms for private parts. Because now he thinks nothing of tossing them out in ordinary conversation. Nearly causing me to wreck the van in transit. I don’t even use the proper terms for private parts. Pee-pee works just fine and is a wonderful all encompassing term. The end.
My southern mother, who never uttered the proper terms in her entire life either, would be proud.
Last week when I was composing my last will and testament from my bed, Fiddledaddy took the kids up to the Rec Center for their Homeschool PE and Art classes. The lady who runs the center stopped him and told him to let me know that all of the inappropriate words were now gone. She may have used air quotes. I have a well earned reputation for slinging the term inappropriate around.
I’m just guessing that they used something like a Magic Eraser on the offensive graffiti, and I’ve deemed it necessary to travel to the park armed with my own personal Magic Eraser Sponge in the requisite first aid kit.
Now if I could just find something to erase those images from their little innocent minds.