A recent entry on Sarah And The Goon Squad (apparently the only blog I read any more) was concerned with her kids saying things that were not necessarily “swear” words, but were inappropriate. I was reminded reading this of when my oldest was in the first grade and said his first “bad” word.
Yeah, I know, we were lucky. I’m sure he said certain things beforehand, but not around adults. At least, not that he would get caught.
My wife and I had picked up Kyle from school, and were sitting in the car in the parking lot. I wish I could remember why. Perhaps we were waiting, killing time before some appointment. I do remember my wife and I were looking at some school papers, either returned homework, a report card, or something.
While the three of us were in the car, looking at whatever it was, we had Geri Halliwell’s solo debut album playing. I’ll admit to being a bit of a Spice Girls fan, and actually liked the upbeat pop music. I knew it wasn’t “good” but it was enjoyable. The group had lost a bit of its fun, and Geri Halliwell seemed to have recaptured it in her “Pschizophonic” album. If I remember, we had just purchased the CD a day or so before, so it was still fresh and new.
Uh… don’t judge me and my musical taste. That’s not the point.
The CD is playing in the background and we are all discussing whatever school topic we are…. talking about. Suddenly we hear a gasp from the back seat. “What is it?” we ask. “I heard a bad word.” My wife and I were puzzled because we didn’t catch it. We asked Kyle what he heard, and he wouldn’t repeat it. After assuring him he wouldn’t get in trouble, he still wouldn’t repeat it. Finally, we had to threaten him with getting in trouble if he wouldn’t tell us what the bad word was he heard. Finally, in the meekest of voices – “Bitch.”
We just about burst out laughing. It was just about the cutest and bizarre things we heard. We looked in the booklet, read the lyrics, and sure enough. The song “You’re In A Bubble” contains the offending word.
Ever since we’ve gotten more aware of what we play around the kids, but we have also gotten a bit more permissive. Time and experience (and frankly a little bit of laziness) will change your parenting style. We don’t shy away from “bad” lyrics, but we also know there are some songs that simply aren’t appropriate for young ears. Of course, that doesn’t stop our younger children from having begun saying these types of words at an earlier age. But that’s another blog entry.