Thursday, May 16, 2013

The “F” Word

This incident occurred within the first few weeks my son Andrew had started kindergarten. It was a hard time for him. We were in the process of moving into our new house. We had tried to get everything done earlier so we would have time to get adjusted to the new house before school started, but it just didn’t happen. The actual moving into our new home continued into his first week of school.
We would sleep at the old house and he would catch the bus there. We would pack things and take them to the new house and after school; he would get off his bus at the new house. The family would work into the evening getting the house into shape, cleaning, minor repairs, finishing a few unfinished areas of the house and putting away items that we had brought with us.
The actual move lasted about one whole week, packing and unpacking. Things travelled from one house to the other in cars, trailers, and trucks. Friends and relatives helped us in the move.
It was a difficult time. He was leaving the familiar and moving to a different and strange place. He also had to adjust to the new routine of schooling. I heard him say “I hate this place.” in the first actual week that we were completely moved into the new home. We sat and talked through it. “We are done with the move. We just need to get used to things as they are now.” and things settled.
A few weeks later, his sister came to us and said, “Andrew said the ‘F’ word on the bus today.”
“Oh no.” I thought. “Where did he learn that word? I know he didn’t hear it at home. We’ve never said anything like that.”
I looked at my wife and she was looking back at me, completely stunned. What were we going to do?
I don’t know to this day why I asked, but I said, “Amanda, what word did Andrew say?”
In a small voice, she said, “Fart.”
I was relieved. I almost danced, but I still had to talk to my son. It wasn’t an appropriate thing for him to say, especially for a kid to say in mixed company. “Andrew.” I called. “Come in here.”
He came dragging himself into the living room, head bowed. He knew that his sister had already told us what he had said.
“Andrew, what word did you say on the bus today?” I asked.
He bowed his head even more. He was staring down at his shoes. The silence seemed to go on forever, until in a small voice he answered, “Fart.”
“Andrew. I don’t want you saying things like that in front of little girls. It’s not nice. You know that your grandma doesn’t like to hear that word.” I told him. “Now go to your room.”

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