Monday, March 26, 2012

Oooooh Fuuuuudge

Well, he finally did it. I suppose it was inevitable, like puberty, or his first crush...or his first stint in juvy. But it's happened. Life as I know it will never be the same.

Rollie said his first swear word.

He even used it correctly. And in context. And like, with feeling. Like he really meant it. Somehow that makes it worse. I should have seen it coming. He likes to watch this show with us called Duel Survival, or Rollie calls it, Cody and Dave. Cody and Dave are survival experts, the former a shoeless hippie with long braids and a nose ring, the latter an ex-marine sniper with a crew cut and army boots. Oftentimes in the show the two of them exchange some colorful language, much of which is bleeped out:

Cody: Here, Dave, I found you some nuts to eat.
Dave: Those look like an elephant just took a bleep.
Cody: Well, that's because they came from elephant bleep.
Dave: You're serious? You were about to bleeping make me eat elephant bleep.
Cody: It's either eat elephant bleep, or bleeping stave. So you tell me. 
Dave: I'd rather bleeping starve.
Cody: Okay, bleep it. I'll eat the bleeping bleep-nuts. Bleeping Bleep.

But then there are the words that sneak in under the radar. Crap. Hell. Damn. Ass. And I thought Big Puffy was bad. I mean, he's going to hear these words from somewhere. Possibly when his cousins come to visit in a few weeks. For a while there it seemed like these words went past him unnoticed. I mean, at what point do kids start filtering through the vocabulary and picking up on the choice words, the ones with punch. The ones they decide just sound pretty bleeping cool. 

So Rollie and Jeff were sitting on the couch watching Cody and Dave, when the following conversation ensued:

Rollie: Dadda? Do you like ass?
Jeff: ...Do I like ass? (Why yes...yes I do, son. Very much.)
Rollie: Yeah. Do you like it?
Jeff: ...You mean like, as a word?
Rollie: ...Uh-huh.
Jeff: No. It's not a nice word.
Rollie: Why?
Jeff: It's just not. It's not a word we should say.
Rollie: But what is it?
Jeff: It''s a not-nice way of calling someone a donkey.
Rollie: Oh. (Probably thinking, well what's the big deal about that? Donkeys are cute. They eat carrots. Come on, people, lighten up.).
Jeff: I don't want you saying that word at all, okay?
Rollie: Okay.

And he didn't. He decided on a different word. We were outside enjoying our gorgeous Florida-in-March weather in the true Scott tradition of running around the driveway in various stages of undress and wetness, raining from soggy diaper to sopping wet clothes because we just got sprayed with the hose by our older brother who swore that he wouldn't aim the hose at us anymore and now he's in time out and huffily picking at weeds that grow through the cracks in the walkway.

After we were out there for an hour or so:

Rollie: Momma? Can I have a drink? I'm thirsty as hell.
Me: ....Rollie...what...what did you just say?
Rollie: I'm thirsty.
Me: Yeah, the other part.
Rollie: ....
Me: Did you just say you're thirsty as hell?
Rollie: Yeah.
Me: Rollie...let's not say that. 
Rollie: Why?
Me: It just sounds bad. It's inappropriate.
Rollie: Why does it sound bad?
Me: Just because it does. Did you hear that from Cody and Dave?
Rollie: Yeah.
Me: Rollie, if you start repeating things that they say, you won't be able to watch that show any more.
Rollie: But why do they say it?
Me: Because they're grownups. When you're a grown up, you will be able to use any words you want. But just because they can, doesn't mean they should.
Rollie: I can't wait until I'm a grown up.
Me: Not all grownups use naughty words.
Rollie: Does Pop-pop?
Me: ...Not really. (My dad is notorious for hurling expletives at inanimate objects when they malfunction. Usually his computers. How I remember sitting in my bedroom on the second floor of our house, and hearing his yells wafting from the air vents from his man-cave below. Surprisingly, he didn't swear when we were in the car. He usually just shook his fists at people. Which probably looked pretty funny to the other driver. There's the inconsiderate motorist, blowing past my father because whatever car he was driving was spewing black smoke from the hood or tailpipe, sputtering and shimmying and about to burst into flames, or something bulky had just blown from the roof rack and the inconsiderate motorist was trying to avoid getting hit by a flying garbage bag full of my sister's clothes. The inconsiderate motorist looks over has he passes, likely to make sure that the person behind the wheel wasn't unconscious, passed out from being gassed by his own noxious car fumes, and there is my dad, glasses askew, cheeks aflame, shaking a freckled fist at him and mouthing something that looks like "Where'd you get your license? Outta a Cracker Jack box?")
Rollie: Does Nana?
Me: I've only heard Nana use a naughty word once. (The S word. And make that twice, because she actually said it today to me. But she was quoting my little brother, so I guess that doesn't count.)
Rollie: Why don't you?
Me: Because I have an extensive vocabulary. I don't need to use naughty words to get my point across. (Not to my children, at least. Not yet.) Besides, using words like that makes you sound less intelligent than you really are. (Unless you know to use them. Because to me, there's nothing like a well-placed four-letter word to really spruce up an essay. Even a paper written on the most mundane of topics--selecting curtains, for example--could end up being a real hoot if you know your way around a thesaurus full of obscenities.)

Rollie seemed to appreciate this. Until we were outside again a few days later. I was blowing bubbles for them and watching Finn try to eat them, Elsa try to scare them (don't ask) and Rollie try to karate-chop them. And it was as Rollie went after a particularly evasive bubble that I heard it.

Rollie: Dammit.
Me: Um...what did you just say?
Rollie: Dammit. I was trying to get that bubble and it got away.
Me: Honey. That's not a word I want you to use.
Rollie: Oh. Why not?
Me: It's a bad word. It's a really bad word.
Rollie: But I didn't know it was a bad word.
Me: No, it's okay. I know you didn't. But now you do. I don't want you saying that word again, okay?
Rollie: Okay.
Me: Say something like, rats. Or, oh fiddlesticks.
Elsa: Or, oh poopy butt?
Me: Sure. That works.

Elsa and Rollie look at each other and crack up. Finally, their laughter says, finally we get a free pass to say Poopy Butt! Oh glorious day!

Lesson learned. We are currently trying to steer Rollie away from Cody and Dave and toward more family friendly entertainment. Like Winter Wipeout. Which Rollie and Elsa like to reenact using every couch cushion and pillow in our house. And when they fall off their stack of teetering cushions and fall face-first onto the carpet, as long as they say Oh, Rats through a mouthful of blood and broken teeth, I'll take that as a win in my column.


  1. I'm pretty entertained by this since Kira has learned a curse word or two. Her most recent event came at daycare when I had to sign a note because she said the B word. I asked her what happened and where she learned it. I laughed at the story later after I had the mommy/daughter talk about using nice words. A little boy in her class kept using "potty words." Apparently if they keep saying peepee and poopoo it's just to annoy the other kids. Kira asked him to stop saying them. He didn't. She got angry and said "Shut up you B****." Ironically, he's the one that taught her the word. Serves him right.

  2. If they ask if Auntie Carrie ever swears, go ahead and say that I do. I have to keep up my rebellious persona.

  3. Hilarious and entertaining. Thank you for helping me spew coffee all over my computer keyboard.