Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A love of language curses through the generations



On Sunday it was sunny, 65 degrees, and then we broke a 100 year record when an early snow and freeze happened Monday.  The temperature dipped to 12 degrees. School closures scrolled the TV screen all day.

Liam, our smart little kindergartener, is recovering from a cold. So we took it easy when he came to spend the day. He loves writing and spelling. We did table work, block building, and he played with toys. 

I popped The Christmas Story video in, and we snuggled under a warm fleece blanket.
He was very interested in the bully, and compared him to Tyrone the Horrible, a character in one of his dinosaur books.  

He liked eight-year-old Ralphie, who had a vivid imagination. He also questioned me about Ralphie's colorful language. "Nana what does son-of-a-bitch mean?"

I gulped and said, "It's a bad word. I'm not sure what it means, just that you aren't supposed to use it." He was satisfied.

And then... Ralphie said the mother of all bad words (it was bleeped) and his mother marched him to the bathroom, sat him on the toilet seat, and put a bar of orange Lifebouy soap in his mouth to hold for a few moments.

Something clicked in Liam's brain. I saw it when he bucked upright and said wide-eyed, "Hey Nana, I KNOW someone who that happened to."

"Who?" I feigned innocence and shock.

He glared at me, and said, "My Nana Tracey." If looks could kill...

"And YOU did THAT to her when she was a kid!"

He was deeply offended and protective of "My Nana" as he calls her when other kids are in her care.

I was wrong, following a norm; cleaning bad words out of the mouth was the discipline technique of fifty years ago. What is the quote? "When you know better, do better." 

What's your bet? Liam will never swear, or he will utter every swear word he can think of...as I did one day when I was five years old toying with bad words. Then it was OVER. LOL

7 comments:

Sandi said...

"Seems I've lost a lot of my blog followers."

What happened?

Ugh...the soap thing bothers me. It's a terrible thing to do to a child.

Kim said...

I used liquid soap. My bad.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was your child who went through all the firsts.�� I could just picture the look on Liam's face when the realization sunk in that YOU did this to HIS Nana.���� I laughed so hard my sides ached!�� Also, I could tell you the exact number of tiles that were on the wall where I stood in the corner with that nasty soap in my mouth.��
Nevertheless...you were & are a very GOOD mom.��

Val said...

I have a feeling Liam might give those words a try, but probably not where he can be overheard. Especially by YOU!

Swearing was not a problem in our household, where nobody was even allowed to say "fart." So the soap went untasted. My little rumpus was no stranger to The Spanking, though. I know, that's scandalous these days! Yet I bear no ill will, and think I turned out pretty well.

Connie said...

Ha! Oops, he figured it out and caught you. I think all young mothers do things they later regret and wish they could do differently if they could do it over. No one is perfect, and we do the best we can. Cute story! :)

Pat Wahler said...

"I told you not to use the Lifeboy." Oh, the good old days, right? LOL

Southhamsdarling said...

What a lovely little story! It did make me smile !! Liam is as bright as a button, isn't he?!