Oh, what a week. I had to do some of that "parenting" thing that's expected of me. Apparently, if you sire the children, you're expected to raise and discipline them. What the hell fun is that? None, says this very grumpy old man.
Anyway, I was putting the kids on the bus on Wednesday morning when the bus driver pointed at me like she needed to speak with me, and then pointed at the boy, indicating that it was about him. Or that's what I interpreted it as, anyway. I stepped closer to the door and she then informed me that my seven-year-old son had, on the previous day, been "cussing up a storm."
Oh really? Do go on!
My son, of course, burst out into tears. Because he's seven. But, you know, a seven-year-old with a sailor's mouth. I wonder where the fuck he learned that (hint: it's college football season).
I get the boy calmed down and tell him to sit and then I reassure the bus driver that I would take care of it. She continues to go on, telling me that it was his first warning and the next time he'd be off the bus and then reiterated that he had been "cussing up a storm" and that he was mad at his sister or something (this is key for later) and that she heard "every word in the book."
At this point, I'm kind of annoyed and the first thing that I wanted to say was "Did he say 'cunt'? Because that's certainly in the book." And then as she continued on, my next thought was "Look, it's not a big deal. It's a string of letters that you have assigned an arbitrary meaning to which just happens to be one that offends you and your religious tenets based on the mythology of a wandering tribe of escaped slaves formulated over four thousand years ago."
Somehow, though, I didn't think that the bus driver would have understood what I said, nor would she have appreciated it.
Finally, she closed the door and was off. I then let this percolate through the day in the back of my mind and I decided it would be totally hypocritical of me to punish him for something I say every thirty-four seconds on football Saturdays. I got home that evening and sat him down for a good talking to; I refused to yell at him, though, because, you know, hypocrite and all.
Basically I told him that we live in an area where a lot of people get easily offended by words like that and if he's going to say bad words, he should do it where people aren't going to hear him and get upset. Because I remember being in the second grade. I remember learning a whole new lexicon. The kid's going to say it, whether I tell him to or not.
I also said that he shouldn't let his sister bother him like that and cause him to get upset to where he's yelling out swear words. At this, he got defensive. "Why would I call her a BEEEEEEEP? She's my sister!"
At which point the two stories did not seem to line up. Later that same evening, my wife came home and said, "Yes, he got in trouble for saying 'bitch' on the bus."
Oh really? He got in trouble for "bitch"? That's "every word in the book?" What kind of fuck-knuckle thinks that "bitch" constitutes every word in the book? Two things happened then: one, I felt better about the talking-to I gave the lad, telling him to be smart and strategic with his curses and oaths; and two, I became really fucking annoyed with the bus driver. I realize that "bitch" is not the first word you expect to hear coming from a seven-year-old's mouth, but don't fucking make it out like he was doing a George Carlin routine.
I thought maybe I should teach the boy how to swear in a foreign language, so that he would get in less trouble. While French or Spanish or German would be more practical--and hard hitting; every word in German sounds like swearing--perhaps we should with Latin first.
That almost wasn't a hamfisted segue...
Oh, and if you're curious, fututor is the male equivalent. And the best application that I can think of is fututor matrum as "mother fucker" (literally "one who fucks mothers").
Anyway, pax fututores matrum. Proficiscor! Have a good weekend.