Monday, September 22, 2008

"He said what?!"

On Friday, Eastan was playing on the computer while waiting for the bus. I looked at the clock and saw it was past time for him to go outside. I told him that he better get out outside or he would miss the bus. This sent him into a panic. "I don't know where my shoes are!" he cried. I looked down and they were sitting at my feet. Frantically (I'm not exaggerating here!) he put them on as he cried, "I am going to miss the bus!" I looked out the window, "The bus is there Eastan."

As Eastan ran out the door, I called after him "be careful!" At that moment he bit it. Then he laid there for a while.

"You're okay, buddy. Get up and get on the bus!" I said. He just stood there crying and then began to walk back to the house. I waved the bus driver on.

Before you start to think that I was being mean and the least bit sympathetic, I have to tell you that he fell on the wet grass. This was not a fall on the concrete.

He came inside and his jeans were wet from the dew on the grass. I got him a dry pair of jeans and a new t-shirt. After he changed, I told him that we should hurry so we could catch the bus while it was still in the neighborhood.

This is when it happened. Eastan looked down at his wet duffel bag, kicked it and said, "shit."

Ashley (shocked): Did you just say 'shit'?
Eastan (nonchalantly): Yes, I am mad.
Ashley (still shocked that he is acting like it's no big deal): I don't care if you're mad. You can't just say that.

As those words left my mouth, I felt like a hypocrite. How many times have I used that word when I was mad. I haven't used it around Eastan, but I've used it. How many times, when I was in 4th grade, did I cuss with my friends thinking it was "cool."

I didn't know what to do. I had a flash of The Christmas Story run through my head. You know, the part where Ralphie cusses when he drops all the bolts in the road while helping his dad change the tire. I thought about putting Eastan up on the counter and sticking a bar of soap in his mouth. But I didn't and I had no idea what to do. So we got in the car and I dropped Eastan off at another bus stop.

I called Nick when I got back home to tell him our story. His response, "He said what?! You didn't do anything?"

Suggestions on how to handle this situation the next time my (almost) 10 year old throws out the s-bomb or worse?


Angela Heather Hill said...

Suggestion? Hey, I'm just impressed that you kept from laughing. Thankfully, I'm not there yet. I can't even figure out the right discipline when Zoe gets an attitude with me... Good luck.

Rachel Peacock-Young said...

I remember when my cousin did this and her mom made her write 100 sentences. Some sentence about be respectful and using tasteful words. It was a really long sentence and I think she is still afraid to say the s-word to this day.

Mimi said...

Every kid around is going to eventually cuss. He knew it wasn't right when he did it. I think telling him that it is unacceptable and then ignoring it was the right thing to do (at least that is what I did with my kids--it seemed to work---- until they were adults! They want to shock you and that is why you need to calmly tell him not to do it again and going on with whatever you were doing.

gmacarolyn said...

Here's what I bet - I bet he never says it again. He didn't get the response he was looking for, so he won't say it again. It isn't worth his time. I think sometimes we reinforce bad behavior by giving it so much attention. You did the right thing in my opinion, and you didn't even know it!! You go girl!