Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I'll just start by saying I have my moments. In these moments (which are few and far between....right?) I've been known to drop a few etymological bombs, especially in those moments of extreme parental exhaustion or frustration.

The problem is that my 5-year old was also dropping the same bombs. Perfectly targeted, I might add. (He's nothing if he's not smart! I'm so proud.)

Surprisingly, this does not always make for a good laugh (especially when they are used appropriately), so I was trying to figure out a way to undo the 5-years of programming that I mistakenly instilled in my beautiful, young son. I'd tried a few things....not reacting, ignoring, time outs, rationalizing, yelling (minus the bombs), etc...but with no success.

But one evening, I was half-watching an odd TV show called "Dexter" where the main character is basically a sociopathic serial killer whose day job is a crime scene technician. (As you can imagine, he's quite good.) There was a brief scene in the show that tickled my consciousness.

A young "tween" boy swore in front of the sociopath, Dexter, (while he was pretending to be normal with the boy). Dexter responded by saying, "Hey, grown-up words are for grown-ups. OK?" To which the boy readily agreed and they moved on.

I rolled my eyes, chuckled at the simplicity of it, said "if it were only so simple," and, then, I, too, moved on.

So, a few days later, I overheard my son giving my 2-year old daughter an Etymology lesson and reflexively spouted the only phrase I could think of to make it stop: "Grown-up words are for grown-ups." My son paused, said "OK", and moved on.

That was the last time he dropped any bombs of any significance. Once I caught a potential bomb being released and mentioned the "grown-up words for grown-ups" platitude and it stopped. Immediately.

Go figure. Thanks, Dexter.



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