Language is a funny thing. For those of you who actually read most or even all of my blogs, I probably seem like I’m a little schizophrenic. I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent person. No, I don’t have a Mensa card in my purse, but I completed a reasonably challenging degree in college and work in a technical field. That being said, I find that the way that I communicate can vary from boring scientific nerd to gutter punk. Let’s face it: there are times when only profanity will do. It can add that certain je ne sais quoi to a comment, discussion, or blog. It adds that punch of color that fancier more cerebral language is missing.
Yes, I have children. And I’m painfully aware of how porous they are. The things you say that you don’t want them picking up on are the ones that they’re going to pick up on the most. We really do try to watch our language around the house. Lately, we have learned that we need to watch how we speak about things and other people.
We’ve already had some issues at school with Stella. She’s been at both the giving and the receiving end of what I’ll call name-calling. Of course, at a preschool level this is mainly stuff like “big baby.” In Stella’s class, “big baby” seems to be the phrase that cuts the deepest (for this month). I want my kids to be tough emotionally, but I don’t want them to be bullies. I also don’t want them to be bullied. It’s a fine line. Lately Stella has walked both sides of that “big baby” line.
I have to admit I struggle with this one. Sometimes people do act like big babies. They act like big old tittie babies. There’s just no other way to put it. But we can’t go around telling them that they’re acting like big old tittie babies. Explaining diplomacy and political correctness to a 4 year old just sucks. And the cynic in me doesn’t think of this as “bullying” per se as much as playground politics. But that in and of itself is probably not politically correct anymore.
So the censor is on, big-time, and it’s not just 4 letter words anymore. Will, especially, has been bad about calling Felix a cry-baby. That’s now totally off the table, as Stella thinks it’s cool to call him that since daddy does it.
I’m off to brush up on my French. Until Stella learns to speak it herself, I can at least rant to myself in private.