Sunday, January 10, 2010

That Word

The boys played outside today in the snow and came back in with pink cheeks and cold noses and demanded hot cocoa. I refuse to go out into the snow until I get a decent pair of boots on account of my perpetually cold feet. The boys don’t understand this. They do not get why I do not also think that making snow angels and building forts and throwing snowballs is the cat’s behind.

Ahhh, children.

As they sipped their hot cocoa at the table, I was showing John a part of a movie I watched last night. The scene had kids in it, so I thought it was safe to watch when OUR kids were nearby. Unfortunately, I forgot about one particular conversation and before we could do anything about it, the male lead character was shouting expletives. He said something along the lines of “you mother effing b#@ch.” Twice, I think.

We quickly turned it off. John gave me his “intense look” and said I would have strongly chastised him if he had put such inappropriate material on the boob tube whilst the children were awake.

I pleaded ignorance. Erstwhile, we heard secretive whispering from the other room.

“What word?” said Ben.

“I’m not going to say it. It’s a very bad word,” Caleb said.

I called Caleb over.

I asked him what word he was talking about. He opened his eyes wide and shook his head. He is an incredibly decent individual and is polite and thoughtful and would NEVER say a bad word.

I assured him he would not get in trouble. I just wanted to know what the word was so I could explain it to him, if necessary.

“You know. What that guy said in that movie.”

“You can tell me. What did he say?”

“You know. The word after he said funking.” Funking?

I probed him further. John sighed, exasperated.

“He means b#@ch, Holly.”

Caleb’s eyes widened and he nodded. Caleb already knows this particular word, thanks to said father’s verbal outbursts during sporting broadcasts. (I don’t think it’s nice to call Tom Brady a little b#@ch, either.) We all agreed it was not a good word to say and that the character on the movie should not have said it. We also all agreed that Ben did not need to know that word at this particular juncture. Caleb went back to drinking his cocoa.

“For the love of God, Holly. It’s like you were trying to get him to say the f-word,” said John.

I wasn’t trying to get him to say it. I just wanted to know if he knew that what he heard was the end-all, be-all swear, as well as the most versatile and grammatically interesting curse word that was ever invented.

Fortunately, he was so focused on the sudden sound of the bad word he DID know that it didn’t occur to him that it was preceded by a very subversive, well, gerund in this case.

Innocence preserved just a little longer.


hokgardner said...

The daughter of one of my good friends came and asked her mom for help making a list of bad words she's not allowed to say. The mom, curious about what words would be included, asked her daughter what she had in mind. "The one that begins with S," said her daughter. "You know - stupid."

The mom breathed a sigh of relief and told her daughter she was not going to help her come up with a list of insults for her little brother.

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

You are awesome and I would not even thought about the fact that you may have been encouraging the utterance of the all powerful and so useful when things go really wrong f word. I love the funking. Haha!

I totally forget about parts in movies too and have made the same mistake. At 3 Sophia still just looks confused but I think she is way close to totally getting what the really "good" words are. Child actors must grow up WAY too fast with all that they are exposed to. So sad!

Also seriously were we separated at birth? The fainting, the musical taste and the freezing cold feet? I bet you the fainting and the feet are related my dear. And we both like the hot cocoa but I assume this is something common to all humanity.

Anonymous said...

It is highly unlikely that Caleb picked up that word by watching sports with me. My teams (Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Orioles, and Buffalo Sabres) perrennially lose, so I rarely get worked up enough to say "b*%ch!" while watching sports.

Driving on the other hand...

No wait, I remember where Caleb picked it up. My esteemed friends from law school thought it would be amusing to teach a one-year-old to say "I'm Rick James, Bitch!"

I made it very clear to Caleb that I though this was inappropriate by laughing until snot came out of my nose.

Holly said...

Even I have been conditioned to gasp if I hear a child say the "s" word.

Brittany- it's quite possible we were separated at birth. My mom is adopted. Wait- that doesn't work. Perhaps we are cousins!

Love of my life- you actually used the "b" word. Now my blog will be flagged for inappropriateness.

Anonymous said...

ahh, the ways of the Irish. Some things never change. Those poor children of yours. Johnny, I'll have to pray for your family--you've lost your Baptist roots (yet again).
-An anonyomous papist.

Anonymous said...

I feel like you may have used erstwhile incorrectly in this post

Holly said...

Well, if that's how you feel, so be it. I like the way it sounds. And I generally feel like my children are living in another time, anyway, so it's kind of a symbolic erstwhile. Or something.