Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'll See Your "Stupid" and Raise You a "Chicken Butt"

My kids swear.

They say things like "poop" and "butt" and then laugh hysterically. I usually remind them to keep the potty talk in the bathroom, but since "poop" and "butt" have always been and forever will be part of our scatological vocabulary (well now don't that make it sure sound fancy), I haven't thus far had kittens over the issue.

Then along came "stupid." "Stupid" is another one of those mostly innocent words, but it rubs me the wrong way when used in certain contexts, such as, "Person X, you are STUPID." I don't like hearing kids calling people stupid, so I blacklisted the word and threatened to put the children in jail if they used it. Okay, not so much that last part.

This is problematic because, let's face it, some things are stupid. When you stub your toe on the chair leg, the chair leg is "stupid." When you feed your children chocolate cake 10 minutes before bedtime, it is a "stupid" idea. When you read about certain foreign countries in crisis not accepting much-needed international aid, one might be compelled to utter the word "stupid" (and a few other words, too).

It's hard, though, for kids to differentiate between calling a person "stupid" and calling a concept or an inanimate object "stupid." I tried having them replace "stupid" with "silly," but that didn't fly.

It was time to bring out the big guns. It was time to make up a new word.

I am good at making up new words, but all the things I suggested, such as "glabberfrommit" and "berdooly" just didn't stick. So that tendril brain of mine did some reaching and I remembered something I read somewhere: "donkey bellies." Thank you, Dooce.

The kids thought that was pretty funny and they added their own new word: "chicken butts."

I prefer bellies to butts for the obvious potty-mouth reasons, however I'll take the ridiculous "chicken butts," which seems to be more popular (sorry, Dooce) than the "donkey bellies," over "stupid."

Now, what the heck was I talking about? Darned old forgetful chicken-butt brain....

I know, I know. Someday I will be looking back oh-so-fondly on the days when "stupid" was as bad as it got.


Sparky said...

Driving in the car today I hear girl-child exclaim "Shoot!". Pretty funny. At least I have been saying that instead of the other.

Whe boy was 2 and picked up a few swears older sister told me to tell him that they are 'adult words' and that he was not allowed to say them. That still works. It is funny how kids like to say butt and poopy and stuff like that. Sometimes girl will come and complain that boy has called her a poopy diaper. What is that all about?

momma's heart said...


Ashley said...

How funny! My husband and I really didn't swear that much before having kids, but he still needed to do a little censoring while he played frustrating video games, so he came up with some great alternatives. He can now he heard shouting at the TV "Son of Sea Biscuit!" and "Poop-a-loopa" when something goes wrong.

Mama P said...

This is weird. I just wrote you about my cursing issue and didn't know you had written this. Proof again we are the same person.