I’m not against swearing, far from it. I’m a firm believer in freedom of speech and I think that at times, the ‘f’ word is an excellent sentence enhancer. In fact at times I’ve launched into monologues that would surely make a sailor blush. But I must say, I was quite taken aback a few weeks ago (it’s taken me that long to get over it) when the boys uttered their first four lettered words.
It happened like this. We were about three and a half hours into a four hour journey to see my brother’s new baby. Everyone was sick of the car. We were in traffic and out of snacks. Shane decided to do some singing which usually works to calm the troops. On this occasion, he was told, in no uncertain terms, to ‘shut the eff (I just can’t bring myself to actually write it) up’. In fact, that’s exactly what he was told. The English teacher in me was pleased that he had used his new academic vocabulary in context; the parent in me was horrified. We looked at each other to confirm that we hadn’t misheard. Then we made a game plan. It was our first real parenting dilemma. Do we tackle it and tell him off? or Ignore him and hope it never happens again? While we were trying to work out what Dr Phil or Supernanny or any of the thousands of parenting experts on Facebook would do, Bede came up with his own version and could be heard shouting ‘shuck up’ very forcefully in the background. And I have to admit, this was a little bit hilarious.
Now before I go any further, I’d just like to point out that even though I love a bit of colourful language from time to time, I don’t actually speak to the boys in this fashion but who knows what those characters on ABC Kids are up to these days!
After a few furious moments of whispering to each other about what to do, stifling laughter (because at times like these if you don’t laugh you’ll cry) we decided to ignore what they had said and hope it went away. For the most part, that seems to have worked. I haven’t heard the ‘f bomb’ dropped again and they seem to have reverted back to their much more innocent ‘dear oh dear oh dear’ when calamity strikes. Phew. Fingers crossed. And just to be on the safe side, I’ve been especially careful to express frustration with the incredibly sophisticated phrases ‘far out brussell sprout’ or ‘geez whiz’.