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Sunday, September 27, 2015

The 'S' Word

She of the foul mouth . . .
There are creative ways of making one's anger and frustration known.
Even when one is little . . .
My friend's 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 . . .

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.
That's a lot of shock.
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!”
Finally she sighed. "Stupid Poop,” she said.
Her two-year-old ears had heard what the hired men had spouted and processed it to this?
There was hope for the world after all.

16 comments:

  1. I was that horrible mom who swore and then told her kids they better never say what mommy said.
    You can imagine how well that went.
    So "stupid poop"? Yeah, I'd take that any day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wanna know a secret, Karen? So would I! :)

      Delete
  2. I was right in the midst of the hired men and I heard EVERYTHING. But I think I got into more trouble at school than at home. We had more stool pigeons at school I guess. Anyways I learned was Ivory soap tasted like...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh dear! So funny! Once upon a time I said "shicks" - a totally made up word, a blend of shucks - which I felt did not adequately express my exasperation - and the other "s" word (the real one) - and my mother wouldn't even listen to my explanation that it was a harmless word! Moms, humph.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My fathe claimed to be able to eat, sleep and swear in up to ten languages. Certainly some of the words he used in moments of frustration sounded bad. Whether they were or not is open to conjecture though.
    And I don't remember ever hearing him swear in English - not his first language.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somehow, swearing just doesn't sound like swearing in another language. Ten languages?! Yow!

      Delete
  5. I'm glad my kids grew up without too many swear words getting dropped in their near vicinity - except when their mother drove through a speed camera!! Poop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. 'Poop' is a favourite here, too . . .

      Delete
  6. So cute. I actually heard my mother swear for the first time when I was in high school - as she was sliding into a ditch on an icy street. I laughed so hard - but she was not as amused!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The one and only time I heard my Mom swear was when we were washing windows and she couldn't get the storm windows off! Window washing has never been the same . . .

      Delete
  7. Stupid poop? Had to laugh at that. We're not a swearing family, so I was really shocked to hear my 70 year old dad call people really horrible names when he was talking about them. Mostly doctors, who wanted to try different treatments for his cancer (well, we can try this or we can try that, you know how doctors talk) and dad would say those c**** aren't using me as a guinea pig to try things, let them give me a cure. Poor dad didn't understand doctor speak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with him. I don't understand it either! :)

      Delete

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