My sweet, innocent Lynn, is slowly (but all too quickly for may taste) gaining a knowledge of what words are inappropriate.
There are some people we know, people we are related to, might have possibly grown up on a farm, who still use “farm talk” for the word “poop”.
I will not use it here.
Lynn now thinks that as long as she uses that word in reference to animal excrement, it is okay.
She came home from school the other day, and began telling me how ugly it was outside. The snow is pretty much gone, leaving behind nasty, soggy, matted grass, and dog.. “leavings”.
Lynn chose to tell Merrill and I about the latter half of the conditions of the ground outside at the dinner table, while we were eating.
“It’s so gross!! Everywhere you walk there’s dog (she gives sideways glances, then puts her hands to either side of her mouth to shield it, and then mouths THAT word.) It’s nasty.”
I looked at Merrill who rolls his eyes and says, “Really?”
I asked, “Lynn, what gave you the idea to say that?”
“Well, it does mean poop.”
“But what made you think it was okay to say it?”
She didn’t answer, but decided to sing instead.
I have my own Brian David Mitchell! (Singing to avoid unpleasant or unflattering questions….)
She avoided the question by either singing or changing the subject. My attempted lecture turned into a one liner.
“Don’t say that word anymore.”
The next day was even better.
She came home, upset this time, asking me if a certain word was bad. I told her depending on how it was used, it could be.
“Give me an example.”
She then said the last name of a good friend.
“That is not a bad word if you are saying their name.”
She explained to me that she was saying it silly, enunciating every syllable, and another girl, who has been taught advanced information, told Lynn’s friend whose name Lynn had been saying. This friend pointed out to Lynn that, “..some people think that is a bad word, you might not want to say it..”
That had Lynn in tears. She didn’t want her friend upset with her, she didn’t want her to have hurt feelings. She didn’t even know that one syllable was considered a bad word!
She learned that day why that particular word was a bad word, and lost a part of her innocence prematurely (if you ask me). I hope that she feels like she can come to me with more questions when they arise, and not be shy.
I had an experience when I was younger than Lynn. I was in Mrs. Wadman’s first grade class. Me and my table were in the accelerated reading class, and didn’t do reading or spelling with our homeroom class, but one day, Mrs. Wadman had to start the reading/spelling lesson a little early, so our table was there for it. She was teaching about syllables and word parts. She had “helicopter” written on the chalkboard.
“I will sound out the word helicopter slowly, so you can hear the syllables and make out the different word parts… hel…..”
A collective gasp rose up from our table as everyone else in the class turned in our direction. Mrs. Wadman turned red.
“I didn’t swear!!! I didn’t swear!! Don’t you tell your parents that I swore.. I was just sounding out “helicopter”!”
(Remember that Melissa?)
I learned my lesson that day about appropriate, and inappropriate.
Let’s hope that Lynn gives me a break for the rest of the week.