Baxter’s moving on to what I think of as “big kid” topics lately.
For one thing, the third graders have spring fever and love is certainly in the air. I hear the kids talking about who they like in the car pool and watch them flirt like crazy on the playground after school. The boys capture the girls, they spy on each other, and generally show off, making crazy fools of themselves. I have heard of at least three girls who have crushes on my bespectacled boy, but he’s not spilling the beans yet on himself.
Tonight he discovered a section on “girl advice” in his Dangerous Book for Boys. He pointed this out to Matt gleefully, but hasn’t cracked that chapter open yet; he’s too busy reading the section on how to train your dog, because I guess he figures that maybe he’ll get to do that next year and the girl stuff is a little farther off. Or maybe he’s anal retentive and has to read the book in order. That’s actually more likely.
When I laid down next to him at bedtime tonight, he said with a grin, “I wonder if there’s ‘boy advice’ in the Daring Book for Girls?” I reminded him that I was once a girl, so he has a live one he can ask if he has any questions, and of course Matt had just said the same thing upstairs, save the part about having been a girl. He wasn’t, you know. Really, I swear. My husband was not a girl. Not that it would be a problem for me if he was, you know. Dammit, this is how rumors get started. I can’t believe you’re keeping after me like this.
Apparently, telling him that his father was once a girl I’d answer any questions about anything at all opened the door once again for him to ask, “What’s the f-word?”
Those of you unlucky enough to follow my random insanity on Facebook and/or Twitter know that Baxter brought this up a few weeks ago and I put him off until a time when his little brother wasn’t around; he seemed to forget and I did a little whirling, twirling dance of relief. But, no. This time he was more persistent. He also wants to know what the “a-word” and the “h-word” is (and what is the h-word? hell? ho? someone help me out here), and insists that he’s the only one in his class who doesn’t know how to cuss like a sailor and that he essentially looks like a blithering idiot when kids refer to them and he finds himself saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and then looks around and thinks he’s the only one who doesn’t get it. Which cannot possibly be true, but I do feel his pain, having been a dork myself. (Like how I slipped in the past tense there?) I can’t trick him on this, he’s too old and he knows they are words not already in his vocabulary.
Matt is insistent that one’s education about these words ought not come from one’s parents. But quite honestly, I struggle with this because weren’t we the ones who just said he could ask us anything at all? At the same time, I’m not all that keen on sitting him down and rattling off words I don’t want him using. I’m considering writing them down for him; somehow I think I can handle that. I think when it comes down to it, he’s such a good kid that he’ll know better than to use foul language like his mother does – he does seem to get the point that it’s pretty out-of-bounds.
So, okay, Interwebs, here’s the thing: I told him we’d think about it and get back to him tomorrow. And by “we”, I meant you all. Discuss!