Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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All of My Friends

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Baby Swears

She of the foul mouth . . .

There are ways of making one's anger and frustration known.
Even when one is . . . little.
My friends two eldest children were having 'one of those days'.
When arguments erupted at regular intervals.
And no one was happy.
Periodically, one of them would go to their mother and say, “Sister said the 'S' word!”
Now their mother was an adult.
I probably don't need to point that out.
She knew what the 'S' word was.
But had no idea how her children had learned it.
Appropriate punishment was carried out.
A few minutes later, the other child was at her side. “Brother said the 'S' word!”
This went on for some time.
Finally, totally exasperated, their mother pulled both of them aside and asked them where they had learned the 'S' word.
“Well you and Dad say it!”
Now my friend lived in a non-cursing home.
Expletives were kept strictly within certain bounds.
She knew she had never, in her entire life, said the 'S' word.
She shook her head. “When did I say it?”
“Mom, you say it all of the time!”
“Really?”
“All the time!”
Finally, she realized that there was one question she had not asked.
“Kids, what is the 'S' word?”
Together they chorused, “Stupid!”
Ah. Okay.
Not a desirable word, but not quite what she was thinking, either.
Now everyone was on the same page.
We, too had our forbidden family curse words.
Mom and Dad had a problem with children abusing each other verbally.
Stupid was a no-no.
But we were raised on a ranch.
With hired men.
Whose language was, how shall I say it . . . colourful.
And it was inevitable that we should pick some of it up.
I remember the first time we heard our little sister curse.
It shocked my younger brother and I to our toes.
We stared at our tiny sister in disbelief.
Had we heard what we had just heard?
Mom was gonna have something to say about this!
We ran to tell her.
Let's face it, getting each other into trouble was the thing we liked doing the most.
Because.
“Mom! Mom! Anita said something bad!”
Mom stopped what she was doing and followed us to where the guilty party stood.
Feet planted.
Chin out.
Bristling with anger and defiance.
Mom knelt next to her.
“Anita, what did you say?”
“Nothing.”
“Anita, Diane and Blair told me you said a bad word. What was it?”
“I didn't say anything!”
“Anita!”
“Okay.” She sighed. “I said 'Stupid Poop'.”
Her three-year-old ears had heard what the hired men had spouted and processed it to this?
There was hope for the world after all.

'Stupid poop' remained our most formidable curse for many, many years.
Until it was replaced by something more worldly, as recounted here.
Ah, the price of living in the world . . .

7 comments:

  1. Wee man said a word the other day that set our hair on edge...must have picked it up at school. No one here uses it. At least, not where I can hear it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah yes! That dreaded "s" word. :) Each one of my kids have come running to me to report someone as saying the "s" word. Calling someone stupid was most definitely never allowed. But calling poop stupid would be okay I guess. haha... I remember getting my mouth washed out with soap when my girlfriend told me it was okay to take the Lord's name in vain and to say hell. She saw it on her mom's soap opera so it had to be okay was her reasoning. :) I only had to say it once on the swing set with my dad in earshot... That was the ONLY time I said it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. lol we never swore at home either. My kids when they heard people swear began to laugh like it was the funniest thing. For other people it was normal to speak this way. Every second word a swear word.
    I guess the English language is limited to fewer words today but it isn't pleasant to sit at a table where every one swears.
    Parents say you either sit and take it or lose your kids.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Deadly! I think I'll make 'stupid poop' by new favourite cuss word - wonder how long it'll take to catch on??

    ReplyDelete
  5. we never use bad words at home but when the kids heard them outside being used they giggled.
    I do not like sitting at a table where every one swears.
    Its disheartening to the soul.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Too sweet. My head hurt too bad yesterday to post my jottings on the very same topic. Except I think my word was closer to Delores' than yours. Thanks for the story.

    ReplyDelete

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