Now that I have your attention.
All normal parents dread the day when their child repeats something that they've said that they shouldn't. We ALL fear this. No one is immune to the "please don't say that in public" conversation that goes way over your child's head and, let's face it, only makes you feel a little better after you've slipped up and your child is running through the house screaming "What's a baby daddy?"
Before I was a parent (in the golden age of sleeping past 7AM), I assumed it was always going to involve someone slipping up and saying a curse word. What else did I have to fear than uncapped road rage speak? I realize now, that THAT was the least of my problems. It has been EYE OPENING to me to see ALL of the words and phrases that infiltrate our child rearing bubble and make me cringe when I think of how it could be taken out of context if heard in bits and pieces or just flat out said at all. When I say infiltrate our child rearing bubble I actually mean all the crap I say in a given day (like the word crap).
MOST of the phrases have gone completely unnoticed by our child and I have crossed myself (even though I'm not Catholic) in thanksgiving every time we dodge that bullet. And just to clarify...I'm not talking about shocking talk. I'm talking about things used in conversation EVERYDAY. Like saying someone was stupid. Or in my case, since I work in sex education. Saying the word Chlamydia. Thank God that's hard to pronounce.
There are two things that are going to be wrong with what I'm about to say. (Well, you've already said strippers and Chlamydia, Rachel). The first part involves discovering a picture of a scantily clad blonde girl drawn on the hood of one of my son's Hot Wheels monster trucks. You know the cars that say, "For ages 3 and Up" and don't say, "For drunk fraternity brothers." You know the ones? Right. Okay so the 2nd part involved me showing it to my mother and exclaiming..."She looks like a stripper right there on the hood of my son's Hot Wheels. Can you believe that?"
No sooner had the words exited my mouth than my son turned to my mom and says, "She looks like a stripper, Nina."
What is there to say? I've done it again. Please please please don't let him say that about another kids' artwork in school one day. I don't want to have to go to a parent/teacher conference and explain why my son now knows the word, "stripper". Amen.
I spent the next ten minutes trying to use CIA/Men in Black type mind erasing methods by exclaiming that it looked like a "turtle" on the hood of the car. Or it looked like a "monkey" on the hood of the car in the hopes that I would confuse the word "stripper" right out of his vocabulary. It will work, he'll forget...for now...then one day, when I least expect it...that word will come back to haunt me like an unearthed scandal in a political campaign.
Until that day and that blog post...
PS Just in case I do have to explain myself, I'll be blaming and writing a letter to Hot Wheels.