Monday, October 12, 2009


"Mum, what is Wacky Tobaccy?"

This from my seven year old Sam. I’ve mentioned before that Sam has Aspergers. As such, Sam tends to take things literally. If he overhears someone saying they are going to whip their butt, he genuinely wonders where the hell they are going to get the whip from.

Of late, he’s been asking me, regularly, what certain words mean. “What does neck and neck mean?” “What does maniac mean?” “What does drink-driving mean?” He has just this minute, said to me that something was freaking scary. No son, don’t say that. And we go into a description of what is a good describing word and how freaky is OK, but freaking is not.

But what started it off was this: “Mum, is prick a bad word?”. Um yes son, prick is a VERY bad word. Cue the tears. He clams up. I cannot get out of him who he’s heard the word from. Sure my husband and I swear and quite honestly it only takes one read of my posts to work out I am partial to a bit of colourful language to get my point across, but rarely do we do so in front of the kids. Or so I thought. Obviously we are not saints and the “It’s not Sunday dickhead, do the speed limit” comes out whilst driving from time to time, but we both try our hardest to limit it.

So I was racking my brain. Have I called someone a prick of late? Maybe I did one of those ‘say it under my breath but it was loud enough to hear’ things when annoyed at hubby. Nope, no name calling of late.

I sat him down and asked him why he was asking me about the word Prick. He cried, he attempted to tell me about 4 times and in the end, after confirming over and over I would not get angry at him, he told me he had said in the playground in school. Horrified, I asked him who he was naming. The answer – “No one. I just said to Owen* prick your bum”. Total 7yo bottom humour. But not for Owen. Owen threatened what no 7year old boy wants to hear. "I’m telling the teacher on you for swearing".

My son, who is basically the worlds police, shat his pants. What. Telling the teacher. That means I’m basically going to Year 1 jail. The threats continued for 3 days before Sam cracked under the pressure.

Hence the question about the word and all his questions from that day forward.

I had had enough of the continuous questioning after oh, 2 days. So I sat him down and although this will not earn me any mother of the year nominations, I decided to tell him the words he needed to avoid. “Sam, look I’m going to lay it out for you buddy” To which he thought I was going to physically lay myself down on the ground in front of him. Take two. “Right Sam, these are the really bad words – Shit, Fuck, Bitch, Arsehole and dickhead” I figured that was enough to start with. His eyes were bigger than dinner plates. “I don’t EVER want to hear you repeat those words, but now you know, pretty much everything else is Ok to say”. He nodded and digested. He didn’t move for a good 3 minutes and then wandered off to play in his room.

About an hour later, he wandered out and asked me “What does lesbian mean?” Holy shit, where is his kid getting these words from? I explained it is when instead of a man and lady liking each other, a lady and a lady like each other. His response?

“So lesbians could go on a trip around Australia in their lego campervan OK?” Sure babes, can't see why not.

*Owen not the real little kids name.

Side note: My big girl turns 10 tomorrow. Life for us forever changed that early morning 10 years ago. For the better. I look forward to the next ten. (And the bonus teen angst we will no doubt get to be a part of) Love ya Maddie Happy Birthday Beautiful x


Blomsters said...

Loved it! I was told to "F*** off!" by a 5 year old Prep kid at OSHC the other day so i am not sure much will surprise me from hear on in.....
Happy Birthday Maddie!!

Therese said...

Fantastic Bern. Got quite a few giggles out with this blog! Reminds me how I have to watch my mouth. My 2yo currently blurts out (of course nearly always in the right context) "oh bucks sake". Well no first prizes in guessing what I say when frustrated is there? - and that's usually in that quiet tone that almost always ends up being too loud!

MrsDesperate said...

Aww happy birthday to Miss 10, and how cute is your little guy? Mr 8 also takes things literally and I get exhausted explaining things sometimes. And the other day, I got a free sample bag with a magazine. Rifling through it for lollies and chips, Miss 6's hand fell on ... a green condom. "Mumma, what's this for," she says. "I don't know," I lied. "Is it something for you and Daddy ... " she says. "It is! It's something for you and Daddy." Tell me, how would she know! And when did they start putting condoms in sample bags anyway!

So Now What? said...

Wendy: Yep still remember being shocked by a great two'er when I used to catch the bus in grade 11 who told me to go and get fucked. What?

Therese: So wrong, but somehow so cute. Bucks sake doesn't get much cuter My two year old still says fuck for truck.

Mrs D: A condom? WTF were they thinking? How weird she knew. Smart little kidlets coming up through the ranks. :)

Plauren said...

Brilliant - loved it. Maybe i'm at the bottom of the list for mother of the year awards too but I thought you handled it brilliantly! So much easier for a kid to understand than "sometimes it's okay to say and sometimes it's not!".

Robyn said...

My son also 7, also has aspergers, I know exactly what you mean. so literate! drives me crazy. You get my nod for mother of the year!

Aussie-waffler said...

Happy Birthday to Maddie, double numbers, woo hoo. We haven't had the swearing questions yet but we have purchased 'Where Did I Come From,' oh yes, the hilarity to a seven year old.

Amanda {My Life Badly Written} said...

My 4 year old has a special swear radar I am sure of it!! And it's really hard not to giggle when they are playing by themeselves and using it in context. I am dreading all the questions that are coming!!!

Great post - made me giggle!!

Rick M said...

Ah ha! This was a particulaerly brilliant post Bern, you have some very funny stories to tell and you tell them oh so well!

knitwit said...

Oh my goodness, I am in hysterics! Actually, I used to teach sex ed to 12 year-olds, and I did the same as you. I sat them down the first day and said "here are some words you're going to be hearing: penis, vagina, erection..." and I gave them the whole lot at once. The big shock of hearing them all then made having to say them during the lessons less hilarious for them!