[Extra-Special Note from Jodi: I just found out that Pistols + Popcorn is a 2009 Bloggie Finalist. Let me just be honest. I’d love to win. I’d really really think that was super awesome. Another thing that’s cool? Fat Cyclist is nominatated also (again). So please click here and vote for us in our respective categories. Pistols + Popcorn: Best-Kept Secret Weblog, and Fat Cyclist: Best Sports Weblog. I know, the sideways scroll. Think of it as a new skill…]
My homemade solution to the five-year-old’s version of swearing is to put it in its place. Roan is not a monstrous child, yet he has a devilish need to express himself in a colorful way (as his mother is known to do). He fortunately hasn’t picked up any of the real swears, but he knows what makes the adults raise an eyebrow in surprise and his peers giggle with conspiratorial glee.
Yes, it is poop and pee; it is butt, bum, fart and toot. On particularly mischievous days, it is also penis and vagina. However, his delivery on the last two is a little forced –he hasn’t quite figured out how to make them roll into any sentence as a punch line so they must stand on their own. Penis! Vagina! Somehow these words are universally funny to children.
So my approach is this: I’ve given Roan permission to use all these words, and any others that he feels are funny but naughty. But he has to use them in our designated place only: the bathroom in our apartment. The association is “potty-talk”, but you know I think it’s lost on him. The process works, though. My son enjoys a rowdy session of swearing in the bathroom and I get to hear from the kitchen what combinations he’s coming up with. (It actually reminds me of when my own Mormon mother used to try to swear to underscore her frustration, and would come up with gems like, “I don’t know why the damn I try sometimes Hell!”) The most
difficult piece in listening to my son’s own profanity-laced songs while washing his hands is that I often burst into laughter. I’m guessing that it doesn’t necessarily reinforce the concept that these words are not funny.