Remember back in day when swimming lessons meant you really only had to worry about your kids peeing in the pool instead of having a potty mouth? Maybe as our kids get older we are much more tolerant of swear words, maybe it's the Michael Phelps-bong effect, or maybe hanging out at the YMCA pool sets the tone for kids to just kick back and keep it real. Regardless, I knew it was not a good sign when my 8 year-old son ran up to me in an agitated state at the end of swim class.
“There is this boy,” he said slowly and deliberately, “in our class…and he… said bad words!” There was a big pause in between his words for added drama. “Really bad words…Adult words….words that only you and daddy say!” he continued as we walked out of the pool area and into the small hallway to the locker room.
Internally, I groaned, knowing my kids had more or less heard it all….mostly coming from my lips. A woman walking out with us chuckled and said, “At least your kids knew enough not to say them.”
Still having more to report, my son, clearly annoyed by his classmate’s verbal diarrhea, grabbed my arm to stop me before we reached the locker room. “He said the “s” word,” then he looked around to see if anyone was watching or listening. “You know the S-H-T word,” purposefully he had left out the vowel.”
“Oh my gosh!” I cried, “he said SHOT?”
“No mommy!” my son cried.
“He said SHUT?” I continued to tease, but my frustrated son would have none of this. Tired and angry from having bad words shouted repetitively in his ear for the greater part of his 45 minute lesson, he yelled, “He said, ‘This place is a crap-hole. Crap. Crap. Crap. Everyone just leaves their crap around here. Crap. Crap. Crap.’” I just stood, tried not to laugh and waited for him to calm down. Then quietly he said, “Well, he didn’t say crap, instead he said the S-H-T word.”
Again he could not pronounce the vowel sound and before I could chime in, my 5 year’s voice from behind innocently called out, “He means the kid said 'shit', mommy.”
I started to get the image of this kid in my head as a mini Kenny Powers, the crude, mullet-wearing, down and out ex-baseball player, on HBO’s “Eastbound and Down,” series. “His mother had to talk to him in the beginning of class because he wasn’t listening,” my 8 year old continued. “Then what happened?” I asked.
“Well, his mother left and then every time we were done swimming laps he would ask me, ‘Hey, my damn ass hurts, does yours?’”
“That’s from all the shit!” very wisely summed up the 5 year-old, who definitely knows a thing or two about shit himself, and who I know had taken all of this in with the intent of repeating everything verbatim in his swim lesson tomorrow...
To My Sons,
1 week ago