Until I can figure out HOW TO GET THOSE PICTURES, I offer you two stories about bad words. The first comes with a random picture of a duck who joined my husband for dinner last night.
Scott had to work late and was eating a burrito alone on a patio, and this handsome fellow came and loudly demanded chips. I include him here because ducks—mallards in particular—are famous for their filthy language. True Facts.
This story is old, and I only thought of it because Maisy Jane said her VERY first cuss word yesterday, and I am SO proud of her I could bust.
I realize this is not the usual maternal reaction when one’s darling first besmirches her sugar-lips with profanity, but this was a special case, and the word was beyond justified. It was mandatory. I had to coach her on exactly how to say it.
I was telling my friend my friend Julie about our adventures in pooty-mouthism, and she reminded me of the first time this DARLING kid named Alex ever cussed. He and Maisy Jane were in preschool together…
A long time ago, Julie and I were the regular nursery workers at church, and Alex, who was three at the time, came up to tattle on another little boy named Devon. Alex was a very serious young man, with a sprinkle of charming freckles and very large, round, earnest eyes.
Alex: Miss Julie, Devon said a bad word.
Now, “bad word” can mean a lot of things, to a three year old. Sometimes it can mean the other child said “Shut up.” Or “Toilet.” Julie wanted to know what she was dealing with before she talked to Devon or his mom.
Julie: What word did he say?
Alex: A BAD word.
Julie: WHAT bad word, honey?
Alex: I am not allowed to say it. It is a bad word.
Julie: Okay…well, lean in close and whisper it to me.
Alex: *leaning in close and whispering* Devon said a bad word.
HA. Julie did eventually get Alex to confess the word in question, so he first cussed at the age of three, in service of a good tattling…it was NOT toilet by the way. It was the genuine article, combining the Biblical word for a donkey with what you get if you dig in the earth with a shovel.
But Maisy Jane, even WHEN QUOTING, has not, until yesterday, cussed. A solid decade of sugar-mouth came to a GLORIOUS close yesterday, in the service of JUSTICE. In honor of this momentous occasion, PLEASE! Tell me YOUR favorite Little Kid/ Big Language Story.