As a teacher, I’m not really supposed to be a big fan of children swearing. I always act appropriately shocked when I hear grown up words coming from little mouths at school (even though, let’s face it, people swear in front of their kids all the time & it’s not all that shocking that kids repeat what they hear). But I began actively promoting the phrase “twipply skwood” practically the moment my six year old nephew first uttered it. Turns out he was “skwood” because he walked under a ladder or a broom. But then he was doubly “skwood” because he had done it at midnight. By the time I overheard the conversation, he was onto his third and final announcement that he was “twipply skwood” because he had done it at midnight while at mama’s house. It’s a fine saying and one that bears repeating (and naming a blog after, I’m afraid).
I guess I should add that while I only pretend to be shocked at young children using swear words, I actually *am* shocked when I hear them using them purposefully in mean or vicious yet familiar way (one year a two year old called my assistant a "stupid *sshole" for instance in response to being redirected). But then I'm usually surprised when someone so young uses words in a particularly hurtful way, swear words or not.
Is it live?
Since none of us can stand to watch for too long, my family generally prefers the supervision of the children’s sledding adventures to be a group effort, ideally performed from inside the house. That way my mom can glance out the window on occasion and make sure they haven’t shed any blood in her garden. I can glance out periodically and do a quick math problem…four appendages and one head per child, each visible and still attached to their respective bodies: check! My brother, with either stronger nerves or a more intense curiosity gazes out long enough to proclaim things like, “Oh my God! They’re sledding all the way down the hill, over the driveway, and into that stone wall!” and "Should we tell them they're not allowed to be standing up if they're going to sled over that stone ledge?" For this reason, when my nephew Rex (otherwise brilliant in my humble opinion), asked if they could go out sledding at the crack of dawn I muttered, “At least one other grown up has to be awake before you can go sledding.” Math expertise in full swing Rex checked to make sure: “You’re awake!?!”
Good ole’ Joe
This conversation was on the tails of a lengthy one where my brother refuted ever hearing of a person named Joe ZINmaggio, and took place between my nephew Rex and my sister in law Erin:
Rex, “Well I like Joe ZINmaggio”
Rex (full of genuine curiosity), “Is he a girl?”
Rex, “Then I can’t marry him! Only in
And in a seperate conversation between Erin and Rex: We are ready to walk to a restaurant. Rex has been bouncing loudly up and down the sidewalk as we wait for my brother to come out of the house, full of all the boyish behavior people generally deem unacceptable in public places.