Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Banned Words

I don't claim to be the perfect parent. As I often tell people "Hey, I'm just making this up as I go."
My only true wish is for my kids to grow up to be fairly decent people, be happy and not have an extensive arrest record. But as they both begin to realize and experiment with their newly discovered autonomy that comes when one hits the preteen years, I'm growing weary and have also discovered that my patience is starting to wear thin. Parenthood ain't for sissies and sometimes we have to make unpopular decisions when it comes to civility with other members of the household and to the world at large.

After the umpteenth time of hearing impassioned screams throughout the house of :"Mom! She called me a (insert whatever mild kid-like insult applies here.)" which is immediately followed by another voice countering with a :"Did not, You big liar!" I have decided to create a Banned Word list for our home. These words are not to be uttered by a child or parent to anyone residing in the aforementioned home, these words are as follows and maybe added to as the need arises:

1) "Retard" ( and any of it's pig latin type variants, such as "a'tard", "e'tard" or "tardo")

2) "Stupid"

3) "Dummy"

4) "Pinhead"

5) "Fathead"

6) "Loser"

7) "Poophead"

8) "Big fat liar" (this one might be tricky, since others feel it is essential to pleading their case.)

9) "Butthole" (and it's doubly daring and risque cousin: "A-hole")

10) "Ding-dong"

11) "Dork" (only when used in a threatening and intimidating way. Self-effacing remarks like "I'm such a dork" are still ok.)

12) "Freak"

Now I know what you're thinking, "Jeez, they oughta be glad that's all their kids are saying!" Yes, you do have a point. Compared to what I'm told freely spews from the mouths of babes these days due to slack parenting and the general decline of civilization via vulgar and coarse language in public and on TV, even during the early evening hours (the once sacred 'family time programming') my spawns verbal offenses seem delightfully tame-even quaint. But as a parent who has to daily contend with such verbal hostility, the type of word is moot. They are still hateful and hurting, regardless of the shock level. From the time that they were both able to utter a cognitive sentence, I have strived to keep their language from straying into that realm of insults, reiiterating time and again that such talk was not allowed in our house. But as of late it has been spiralling out of control. Actual physical posted rules seemed like a good idea to drive home the point. Now everyone knows where they stand.

So, now we have the List.
However, already I have given them a loophole that one could drive a bus through. And I knew it as soon as the proclaimed amendment left my lips- knowing that an occasional epithet can be a great stress reliever, I did clarify the rule. These words are not to be hurled at another human in the house- dogs are the exception. So regretably I can just hear the next scenario, probably sometime tonight:
"Mom! She called me a retard!"
"Did not! I was talking to the dog! Sheesh!"

Oy...well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.


Blogger Kathy said...

You are officially funny (although I already knew that). It's time you travel over to and spend some time looking around. Check out the blogs and forums as well as the articles. Sign up and introduce yourself. YOU are what THEY are looking for. :-)

12/14/2005 10:17 AM  

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