“He did say a bad word today, so we did have a little talk about that.”
I held my breath. “What did he say?”
“Well, it wasn’t…horrible. But another child told me about it, so I felt like I had to address it.” She lowered her voice a little. “He said frickin.”
I took a deep breath. A little bit out of embarrassment, mostly out of relief that he didn’t drop the REAL F-bomb, and also trying not to giggle in front of the teacher.
Now…the question I asked myself on the way home…WHO did he hear that word from??? His cousins? His friends at the lunch table? His Dad?
Nope, nope, and…nope. I’m 99% sure he heard it from…Yours Truly. I don’t frickin realize it half the time, but I frickin say that word more than I frickin should. Not TO Keegan, but around him. (And YES, Mom, I will watch my frickin language.)
I did have a chat with him about that word not being appropriate, and mentioned that sometimes, he’s going to hear adults say words that kids aren’t really supposed to say. I also got out of him what he said exactly. Apparently, he proclaimed to a friend, “I have to wear these shoes every frickin day!” (Okay. Well. It might be time to buy the kid some new frickin shoes.)
Some people might be annoyed by this, but I actually had a really good laugh over the whole thing (not in front of him). Just like I had a good laugh when he told me a friend whispered the word “hell” in his ear at lunch. I asked him what he did, and he replied, in a very matter-of-fact tone, “I told the word to everyone else!” The week after that, he wrote that same word on a worksheet that asked for a word that rhymed with “shell” and “bell.” The teacher counted it wrong and wrote “not appropriate.” I laughed quietly to myself after taking it out of his backpack, took the worksheet into him and said, “Can you please tell me another word that rhymes with shell and bell?” He said, “tell.” Great. Thanks. I didn’t bring it up again. Hell DOES rhyme with shell and bell. It IS also considered a “bad word” when used in the wrong context. I didn’t take it back to the teacher and demand she count it right. He’s in first grade. I don’t think this will affect his college applications. To me, it wasn’t that big of a deal. But…I DID get one HELL of a good laugh out of it.
I honestly consider a sense of humor to be just as vital as my other five senses. Sometimes I try to imagine what life, particularly motherhood, would be like without it. (Answer: completely miserable)
When Keegan filled the toilet with sand in preschool, I scolded him, bought his teacher an “I’m sooooo sorry” bottle of wine…and had a good laugh.
When he was a toddler and my husband decided to let him run free with no diaper and he pooped all over the carpet, I scolded my husband, scooped up the poop…and had a good laugh.
When he puked up hot dogs in his bed several years ago, and I cleaned up the sheets before putting them in the washing machine, noticing the little grill marks still on the pieces of hot dog, I gagged a little, told myself I wouldn’t blame him if he never eats another hot dog (which he hasn’t)…and I even got a good laugh about it.
When a tiger sprayed pee all over him on a preschool field trip to the zoo…MAN, I was grossed out. I felt sorry for him, told myself I wouldn’t blame him if he wasn’t interested in seeing the tigers again…and yes, I did laugh about it.
When I found several pieces of scotch tape with his initials written with a black sharpie on pieces of furniture around the house a couple years ago…I said, “Oh, Keegan. You better get all these taken off before your dad gets home.” Then, I laughed and wondered whether he was claiming the furniture in the event of our deaths. (Not a HORRIBLE idea, really.)
When he puts his underwear (and YES, they are his “wore-them-all-day” underwear) on his head…well, come on people. Of course I giggle. Is it pretty disgusting? Well, given his track record regarding failure to wipe after pooping (please refer to a previous blog post entitled “The Four-Step Program” for further info on this topic)…ABSO-FRICKIN-LUTELY. But, he’s fully enjoying being a KID. I even took this picture sometime last year…and I plan on showing it to his first girlfriend.
The stories about Keegan are ENDLESS. The truth is, he and I clash a little bit. He’s very stubborn, he tests my patience, he seems to have a newfound interest in “naughty words”…AND…he makes me laugh EVERY DAY.
When Easton screams because the whole package of crackers falls on the floor, breaking every last one and thus making them, in his mind, inedible…what else can I do but laugh? When I find him elbow deep in toilet water, splashing happily, or find a big turd in the bathtub, what else can I do but laugh? (Right after I scream “NOOOOOOOO!”) When he starts freaking out because he has a single CRUMB stuck to his finger, I laugh a little, brush the crumb off his finger, and tell him “Stress Less, Easton!” When I walk into the kitchen and find the whole dishwasher unloaded onto the floor, complete with plates sorted by color, steak knives, and the entire bottom rack itself, and Easton giving me a big smile and a “Hi!”…well, I HAD to laugh out of relief that he didn’t slice his hand open or break a plate and hurt himself.
Laughing keeps things in perspective AND keeps me from going certifiably insane.
Now…time for clarification for those who are wondering whether I take ANYTHING in my life seriously. I’m not saying it’s always appropriate to laugh in EVERY circumstance. I’m not saying I “laugh off” whatever troubles or challenges I’m facing. I cry. I get mad. I get irritated, frustrated, exasperated. I worry (a LOT). I do take things seriously. Believe me, I have crappy days.
I just think it’s imperative to maintain a sense of humor and remind myself not to take life too seriously. I’m not getting out alive anyway.
To anyone who has not been blessed with a sense of humor (yes, I know there are some out there): Good Frickin Luck.