But, I just wanted to keep this post short and sweet and describe this recent struggle we've been having with the kids. It's around a word that's not THE worst word they could use, but I'm sure you'll agree - it's a word you really just don't want little kids using.
It started last week when Knolan was chasing the cat around the main floor. Kaycie - who has a penchant for drama and bossiness lately - arrived at the top of our stairs with a loud, exasperated sigh and stomped down the steps, put her hands on her hips and bellowed, "Knolan, leave that damn cat alone!"
Ken and I looked at each other and then looked at her in disbelief. Not only do neither of us ever swear in front of the kids, but neither of us actually ever uses the word "damn" at all! And...this was the little girl that frequently reminded us that the words "hate" or "stupid" were not very nice words to use. We quickly set the record straight and let her know that "damn" was not an appropriate word to use, and that it could actually be considered to be a swear word. She quickly promised she wouldn't use it again.
Since then, though, I have caught her using it again! She walked out of the living room and into the kitchen the other day and tripped over the cat, and we heard her growl under her breath, "Damn cat!" Another time, she opened the fridge door and - clearly distressed - wailed, "We're out of damn juice boxes?!"
I tried to ignore it, thinking that the more attention I paid to this new word, the more excitement she'd get out of testing my limits.
Then yesterday, I was driving the kids somewhere, and Kaycie pipes up from the back seat,
"Mom... you would be so proud of me!"
I said, "I'm always proud of you, cutie! What did you do?".
"I didn't say 'damn' even one time at school lasterday!" (and by 'lasterday' she means 'yesterday')
At that point I figure if she's making an effort, I'd better praise her. I said, "That's great, Kaycie! Good for you!" To which she says:
"Yeah! And I told every single kid not to ever say the word 'damn'... wasn't that responsible of me?"
At that point, I launched into a little speech about how it wasn't good to say swear words... even if you think you have to use the word to tell someone NOT to use it. Hard stuff for a 5 year old to process.
It was at that point where we heard Knolan. And I must say - I need to give him credit - what he was doing was very creative, and so I can appreciate his reaction when I intervened. He was in the back seat singing away to the tune of "MacArthur Park", but using only one satisfying word:
"Da-damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, daaaamn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN, DAMN, DAAAAAAAMN!"
(I should, at this point, acknowledge the contribution of my husband to this little scenario. He has been introducing the children to Weird Al Yankovic, and their current favourite is "Jurassic Park" - a parody of...... *drumroll, please* "MacArthur Park". Seeee? It's all making sense now, isn't it?)
I turned around and interrupted Knolan, saying, "Knolan! You are not allowed to use that word." Without missing a beat, he stopped singing and groaned, "Awwww!" You know the one. The "awww" with the slight upper inflection at the end. He was clearly disappointed. LOL
I am relieved to report that Knolan's final crescendo of "damns" was the last I have heard of this particular word since Sunday evening. I have a feeling that now that Kaycie has heard Knolan swear, she is working on new material. We'll just have to see what tomorrow brings. :-)