Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Potty mouth!

Inevitably, my children hear swear words at school. They hear naughty little phrases and learn off-color hand games. The Boy taught me a handshake about a farmer, toilet paper and wiping your butt on your hand. I have to admit, I snickered. I’d like nothing more than to shield them from the more foul aspects of our language, but that’s completely unrealistic. So, in an effort to give them a head’s up, I’m the one who introduced them to the more popular cuss words. “Well, honey, it rhymes with duck except it starts with F.” I told my Girl a while back. “Fuck?” She pondered on that one without hesitation. Eeep! I felt my insides tremble as I re-thought my initial intentions. “I know. Silly isn’t it? If you want to say them to yourself, fine, but don’t say them at school because you’ll get in heaps of trouble.” Although my inner puritan was shrieking No! No! No! Don’t you dare say those horrible words my precious innocent! Dear God, what have I done?! In the days shortly following, they tested the limits of bad words. They talked about them, pronounced them loudly just to reassure me I had taught them correctly and put them to practice in a few appropriate situations. I didn’t react; instead I chose selective hearing over a furrowed brow and hoped the phase would pass. It did.

And then there’s sex. All kinds of sex that needs addressing. Because if I didn’t do it, they were sure to get the skewed playground trash talk from their friends, and their wholesome assessment on conception and physical affection might be tainted. So there was that talk. I’m thankful they’re young enough to not be overly embarrassed, yet old enough to grasp enough basic sexual concepts. We’ve been able to fill in the necessary gaps during stolen moments. Hopefully it feels more unplanned than rigid, because there’s nothing as awkward as when your mother sits you down and makes you listen to her big sex talk. Don’t do it mom! Susie already taught me about humping!

So everyday I send them off to a big place filled with other kids who know things they don’t. Or maybe know things differently. And I silently pray as I pace back and forth that they’ll come home the same unsullied little cherubs I kissed good-bye to. Or something like that.

I can’t help but worry. I’m an agonizingly overprotective parent who refuses to remove the blindfold that screens my eyes from the glaring fact that they are indeed growing up. You’ll grow up when I say you can mister! What? A bra? Drop you off at the mall? A Mighty Kids Meal? Let’s all just calm down and watch some Blue’s Clues. Would you like a graham cracker and a juice box?


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