Thursday, September 4, 2008

Birthdays and Dirty Words

Today is my youngest child’s birthday, and since I am the one who suffered excruciating pain and anguish to bring him into the world, I believe that I have been endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Right to tell Stories that might prove Embarassing to him.

If you have been a faithful reader of my blog, you’ll know that I am drawn to new and interesting words. Well, my youngest son inherited this trait, but with a twist. He was the child that just had to repeat a new word if he encountered it, especially if it was one that would ultimately bring Shame and Reproach upon his parents.

In an earlier post (8/1/08 Things I Wish I’d Done #2), I related one such incident. Here, for your reading pleasure and to increase my joy on his birthday, is the further adventure of “Trent Learns About New Words”:

Do you remember the little rubber wrestling men? Well, courtesy of a great aunt and uncle, he had two of them, and one day, while his brother and sister were in school, he contentedly engaged them in mortal combat. I was sitting, calmly enjoying my counted cross stitch, when my peace was rudely shattered by his words: “I’ll kill you, you son of a %*@#*!” he shouted, using one little rubber man to slam the other to the ground.

Trying to remain calm and not impress the new vocabulary words indelibly on his brain, I asked, “Son, why did you say that? Where in the world did you hear those words?”

“That detective man said it to the bad guy on TV last night,” he replied.

Now, I knew he wasn’t being “bad.” In fact, he was doing what all of us do—we hear new words, figure out what they mean and how to use them from context, and then implement them in our own Speaking Vocabularies. What he needed, I decided, was a tool to help him learn proper discretion. So, I talked to him about how some words were great to use and others were not so great, and I told him that if he ever heard a new word that he had never heard mommy or daddy use, he had to tell one of us about the word first.

Well, a few days later he was in the farm shop with his older brother. Ever the inquisitive child, he asked, “Travis, what is oil for?”

“It’s used to lubricate things,” Travis replied.

“Lubricate! Travis, have you ever heard mommy or daddy use that word?”

Ah, if he’d only remained as easily guided by my wise maxims, what trouble we might have avoided through the teenage years. . .

Happy Birthday, Trent. I’m proud of you. And you can repeat that

1 comment:

Martha D. Manley said...

I am still smiling from reading your writings, but this one, brings laughter, uncontrollably, from my voice and from within my heart....
I must admit, that Trent has always managed to make his Grandma laugh and enjoy his antics... think some of it comes naturally, from his mother and father as they grew... love, Mom