My sweet Gracie brought home a book yesterday from school that was written for middle-school age boys. There's no bad language in the book, or even anything risque, but I told her I had concerns about her reading books that were written for older kids. Mainly, from what I saw, it deals with the theme of popularity, or more specifically, unpopularity, and has some forbidden-but-not-vulgar words like 'moron' and 'jerk'; words she has never used, but certainly not words I would encourage. The subject of popularity is unavoidable in the life of a child, but my child specifically doesn't see people in that way yet, and I guess I'm just anxious to preserve these years of innocence before the pre-teen years descend. I may be overreacting about the book; one friend of mine said it was fine.
There are quite a few words that my kids know that they are not allowed to use, but they're not mainstream vulgar words, they're words like 'stupid', 'hate', and 'butt'. I know plenty of people whose children use them, but I don't let mine.
The funny thing is, they substitute code words for them that are worse than the actual words themselves.
For instance, if I hear Katie tattling, "Oooooh, she said the S-word!", I know that she means 'stupid', but the lady in line behind me at the grocery store might automatically assume she means something worse. Same goes with "He called me the b-word!" Nice.
I'm thankful that they haven't yet latched on to the word 'fart', otherwise we might have an 'F-word' declaration in the grocery store...that's never good.
And now a completely different story that is halfway related:
Last night, in the kitchen, I was asking Tommy about school, and he reported that his friend Z had gotten in BIG trouble because he said a bad word to the teacher. He also reported that he didn't know the word, but that it started with a B and it made the teacher really mad.
I'm sure it did.
About this time, Grace piped up and declared that she knew three curse words.
Me: Really? What are they?
Her: Stupid, and idiot, and a boy at school told me one that's really bad and it starts with a 'D'. Do you know what it is, Mama?
Me: (knowingly) I think I do.
Her: Well, it doesn't make sense, because the word also means something else.
Me: Oh, yes, it's a homonym, isn't it.
Her: Well, it's just weird, because, I mean, we eat at that restaurant a lot with the same name.
Me: (searching memory for dam-related restaurant names)
Me: (coming up blank)
Her: You know, Mom, Dickey's Barbeque?
Me: Oh Good Lord.
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