Warning: This little diddy of a story contains foul language. Actually, it involves teaching children bad words and thinking it’s hilarious. If that offends you, feel free to come back another day and read another not-so-foul post.
When Luke was three years old, we were living just outside of Charleston, South Carolina on Daniel Island. The weather was beautiful there about 360 days every year. The island was beautiful and super family friendly with all these parks and walking trails. Luckily we didn’t have Clementine then because it was kind of risky walking your dog past all the little ponds with gators in them. I might have been a little paranoid that my two and three year old would get snapped up but I swear, there were warning signs like this:
photo cred here
Here is an actual picture I took:
This story has nothing to do with gators, so I should probably get on with it already. I get a little side tracked sometimes, sorry.
Since we were a one car family back then, I figured out ways to get out of the house and keep the boys busy while Tim was at work. The parks and walking trails were perfect for us. Side note: I wasn’t much of a hermit when both boys were home with me all day. When I could either strap them into a car seat or stroller, they were content and I was happy that they weren’t driving me crazy, screaming, jumping on things and beating each other up. The quiet was nice and I veered the stroller as far away from those gator ponds as possible.
On our almost daily walks, we found all sorts of fun parks right there on the island. It wasn’t a big island, but there were at least four really elaborate parks with all sorts of fun things to do for toddlers and parents alike.
So when the grandparents came to visit, the parks were on the top of the list to explore. Papa loves flying kites so he took the boys down to the local store and bought the perfect one. We packed up all of our necessities, picked the perfect place for optimum wind and set out. Just our luck though, there wasn’t even the slightest of breeze available, which was rare for us there. Papa, Tim and the boys were still determined to get that kite up in the air. And maybe, just maybe if they could throw it up high enough, it might catch the rogue breeze that eluded us down closer to the ground. Three year old Luke was holding the spool. Papa was there with him for moral support and Tim was holding the kite and trying to throw it up as high as he could.
After about 55 tries and a lot of sweat later, everybody was getting frustrated and disappointed, especially Luke. When Tim threw up try number 56 and the kite came crashing back down. Luke hung his head, shot a disgusted look at the spool and threw it down on the ground as hard as he could. He muttered under his breath, “Fuck this kite!” and sulked off toward some bushes.
Both Tim and Papa were quite surprised, but couldn’t help themselves. Both had to walk off and hide their faces because they were cracking up. They knew they shouldn’t condone a cussing three year old but that shit is funny. I don’t care who you are.
About a month later, we were back in Washington visiting my family on Camano Island. Nana was so excited because she had found this huge train set for the boys. Two year old Jack and three year old Luke were obsessed with trains so this was perfect. Nana and the boys had just started setting up the track but since it was on carpet, the track pieces kept unattatching and becoming unlevel so the train couldn’t chug smoothly all around.
I probably should have warned Nana about what happens when Luke got frustrated. But I didn’t. As you can guess, after the train got stuck too many times for Luke, he threw it down. “Fuck this train!” and skulked off.
After hearing about the situation, I had to let my mom know that was just something we were working on with him. We were trying not to react, either positively (laughing) or negatively (scolding). We were just trying to ignore it and let him try the word out for a bit.
Of course, we knew he had heard that word somewhere; obviously it was from us. We let him know he probably shouldn’t say it in public, around his friends, or when he went to school. But we couldn’t deny that a little f-bomb thrown in here and there was a bit therapeutic. And when used sparingly, can actually make something funnier. We weren’t the language police and a little fuck here and there wasn’t going to damn us all to hell.
Seriously, I bet Jesus threw in some colorful words when those nails got pounded through his wrists.
I knew we would be fine in the language department. I wasn’t too worried. Actually, now the boys aren’t totally shocked if they see or hear something with a four letter word in it. We don’t go around promoting it or anything, but I’m not hovering around covering their ears and eyes all the time. And six years later we haven’t gotten any calls from other parents or school yet, so I think we’re fine.
Fast forward a little to last year. We were dropping Tim off at work one morning and I saw the most hilarious thing. Someone had graffitied, “Shit Barf” on the side of a newly cemented wall at a construction site we were driving by. I meant to take a picture but there was nowhere to pull over and besides, the boys would probably be late for school if I didn’t keep driving. I told myself that I would capture this genius message that afternoon when we picked up Tim from work.
The reason I though “Shit Barf was so amazing was because I had concocted a whole story in my head that explained it. So the way it went down was two 13 year old boys were walking down the street in downtown Seattle. Probably walking home from school or something else mischevous like that. The construction workers were done for the day and all was quiet. They are just shooting the breeze when they noticed a few spray paint cans laying on the ground. They grabbed them and tried to come up with something ingenious or funny to write on the wall. They both had competing ideas and couldn’t settle on one, so they lightly argued about it when all of a sudden, they heard footsteps.
“Oh crap Arnold! We’re going to get caught. My mom’s going to kill me! What do I write?”
“Just give me the spray paint Gordon! I’ll handle it!
Quick, thirteen year old humor gets sprayed up onto the wall and they booked it down the road, safely home.
Now, I have no idea what really went into the planning behind those words, but Shit Barf just stinks of young teenage boy humor. To my dismay, some good samaritan, or probably someone on boss’s orders painted over that gem. I never got a picture of it, but I sure told Tim all about it, within hearing range of the boys, because I don’t care who you are, that shit barf is funny.
Okay, okay, the responsible part of me is officially reminded to let the boys know that it’s wrong, and also illegal, to graffiti someone else’s property. But if I find, “Fuck This Kite” scrawled somewhere on our walls, I’ll probably leave it up for a few weeks before I make the perpetrator paint it over.