It's always something. Not to go all Michael Corleone but every time I think I have this parenting thing handled, something happens to pull me back down. Sara picked up a lovely new word on the bus from a 4th grade future criminal. Yup, my daughter, my sweet angel with the big blue eyes started dropping the F-bomb at school. Fortunately for me, one of her friends mentioned it to her mom who informed me. As embarrassed as I was to get that call, I am grateful she told me so I could nip it in the bud. When Sara came home, we talked about the word. She didn't know it was a bad word. She thought it was a word older kids use to be cool. I explained that it is a really bad word that we don't use. "What does it mean, Mom?" "Ummmm, well, honey, it's an awful bad word that upsets people. So we never, never say it." She paused. "So, where did that kid learn it?" "Good question, hon. Some people use it but they shouldn't. Please make sure you never say it again." "Ok, mom. You should call his mom and tell her that he knows that word."
Good point, Sara. However, in this crazy world, some parents freak out and shoot the messenger and cannot fathom that their angelic child would ever do anything wrong. The other scenario? My child and I are overreacting and kids will be kids. How do I know these possible responses? Because I have gotten them. When Sara was getting bullied on the bus, I found out when other parents called me because their children saw it happening. So, I screwed up my courage and left a pathetically nice, non-confrontational voicemail for the mom. I played the whole "there are two sides to every story and I'm only hearing Sara's version. But, if your kid could stop calling my kid stupid and retarded, I'd really appreciate it. Also, Sara doesn't want to ride the bus anymore because your child tells her everyone hates her and she should stop riding the bus. Could your little angel stop saying that stuff, too?" Guess what happened? The mom freaked out on me, demanded names and said that her child is the nicest kid on the planet, doesn't have a mean bone in her body and would NEVER say those things. Then she hung up on me. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding, Lady. I wish my kid was as perfect and sweet as yours.
Later that night, Christian decided to get into the whole name-calling thing. His major insult? Sara, you are an APPLE! Do I wash his mouth out with soap? As soon as I am done laughing.