I wasn’t sure when I’d get it.
And I didn’t really expect it in so far as calling me one until he was a couple of years older. An early teen, perhaps.
But there we were, walking home from school. Firstly, it was the “how come you never drive on Fridays?” whinge, complete with stompy feet, pouty lip and the works. Immediately follwed by “Oh, ok then, I’m ok now,” when I mentioned we were going via the book shop he’s been wanting to go to since last Sunday (and, evil people who run it, they were closed at 6pm on a Monday).
He – well, actually, both of them – were mucking around, annoying each other, being silly … the usual, when he (the 8 year old) turned to me and said “You’re a C***”.”
In quite a nice tone, actually.
My mind reeled. Not in anger. Mostly in an “oh, shit, did I actually call him one out loud and he’s repeating me?” followed immediatley by “did he hear me call his friend one?” and then my “had he heard his dad and I chatting?”
I took a deep breath, restrained Grumpy, who tends to go into ranty modes in these situations, and jump to rather extreme conclusions. I bit my tongue, so as to avoid laughing and enquired “Um, where did you hear that?”
“A friend at school.”
Aha. Immediately, I mentally listed the top three posisble culprits:
- The kid who repeats stuff his older brother and/or sister say, then provides a definition that is so far from wrong it’s not funny (and hands me on a platter the ability to shred him of all credibility in my son’s eyes);
- The kid who has no idea what he’s saying, overheard it somewhere, and uses it because it gets him attention;
- The kid who’s family use it quite regularly, it’s just a part of his vocab, and it gets him attention.
“Aha. Which kid?”
“Joshie. What does it mean?”
Joshie? He didn’t make my list at all. Wow, that is one out of left field.
“Um, ok. Well, what context did he use it in? What did he say?”
“What does it mean?”
“OK, first tell me how he said it and then I’ll be able to explain it to you better.” (And hopefully shred him of his credibility, too).
“He said ‘Don’t say c***. It’s a really rude word, so you can’t say it’”
Hrm. And someone told me kids listen to their friends and not their parents.
“Right, ok. Well, err, um, it’s, um, well, erm, it’s …” Sheesh. Do I say “remember daddy’s ex-business partner? Well, there’s a good example?” Sadly, he doesn’t, because daddy’s ex-business partner walked out when I was pregnant and we were away on holidays. With no notice.
Meanwhile, Grumpy is letting me flounder and doing a terrible job of trying not to piss himself laughing. A huge help!
I went with Kid Level Speak.
“OK, well its a really, really, really bad word to use to refer to stupid, dumb people. It’s, like, a million, billion, trillion times worse than the ‘f’word! So, I don’t want you using it, ever, ok?”
“Ok. So I can use the ‘f’ word?”
“Um, no. No you can’t.”
(I said ‘can’t’)
“Cool. I know the ‘f’ word and the ‘c’ word.”
Having had the ‘c’ word conversation with Monkey Boy prior to this, I again had to restrain Grumpy from making yet another Conclusive Leap and get Monkey Boy to explain to Grumpy that the ‘c’ word is in fact “crap” and not the one we’d just been discussing.
Grumpy returned to unsuccessfully trying not to laugh, while I threw my hands up in the air, shook my head and took off at a fast pace in an attempt to disown the lot of them.