Saturday, March 23, 2013

The "S" word

I walked into the classroom to pick up Collin.

The preschool teacher motioned me over.  She whispered, "We had a little problem with Collin today."

My heart sank.

She continued, "He said the 's' word."  

My face flushed.

"He said (pause, throat clear) stupid," she murmured.

The teacher expanded on the incident.  Evidently, Collin referred to a Mr. Potato Head doll as "stupid" and then threw out the same term at lunch (for no particular reason).  Upon hearing the word, his preschool pals were more than happy and willing to rat him out to his teachers.

I quickly rattled off an apology and expressed bewilderment that Collin would so easily toss out the "s" word.  After all, I couldn't recall a single time when he uttered that term at home.

She shot me a skeptical glance before adding, "Sometimes, at home, I've been known to use that word too and then I remember my kids are listening to me say it."  She smiled.

I smiled.  

I might not be the brightest bulb in the bunch, but I realized where she was going with this.  She was hinting at the fact that I was the source of the "s" word.  That, perhaps, I was firing off the "s" word with abandon at home and little Collin was soaking up my "foul" mouth and then mirroring my language at school.

At that point, I went into attorney mode.  I had to defend myself.  I assured her that I had not contributed to Collin's malfeasance.  Then, I gave her my word that Collin would have a stern talking to about his classroom language.

She nodded.

I snatched Collin from the classroom and reminded him how we never use the "s" word anywhere, especially at school.  He listened without responding while munching on a granola bar.

Later, I thought how grateful I might be someday that the 's' word he's using is "stupid."

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