When Lucas and I were little, we were of course not allowed to say words that Momma and Daddy deemed "bad." We were pretty good about this most of the time. But there were times that we needed to say a word that we knew that we were not supposed to say. Most times we were quoting another person who did not have quite as clean a vocabulary or there were always the times we wanted to point out a "bad word" in a song. So from as far back as I can remember, Lucas or I would say, "Momma, can I say a bad word?" And she would usually grant us permission to say the word once to properly tell a story or to simply quote someone else. It became sort of part of our normal discourse. And there are still times that we say it - even now. Hard habit to break, I guess.
Well, I, too have many words that my children are not allowed to say. Now, at this point in their young lives these words are not really terribly bad words. They are just words that sound ugly and rude coming out of their sweet little mouths. On the scale of "bad words" they are quite tame.
A few examples:
They cannot say "hate" or "butt" or "stupid" or "shut up" or "loser."
And they cannot say that they do not like a person (mainly each other ;>)
And they cannot call people any hurtful names.
And because I have outlawed these words, we all try hard not to say them either. In fact, Mimi and Momma are bad to say "You shut up!" just playing with each other. They NEVER say it in anger or seriously. But my sweet, literal babies always correct them and say, "You shouldn't say that!" Now, I know that as adults we can say things that are not appropriate for children. And I am a firm believer that sometimes it is a "Do as I say not as I do" sort of thing. But I figure the words that sound ugly coming out of their mouths probably do not sound much better coming out of ours, so it can't hurt us to follow the same rules.
And I have never told them about Lucas or me asking Momma "Can I say a bad word?" But they have started saying that of me!
The first time was when I was in the hospital. Wait, did I tell you I had surgery? Well, I did. (ha!) Jessa said, "Momma, can I say a bad word?" And I said, "OK, just this once." And she said, "I just want to say that I hate it when you are sick." I told her that it was more than OK to feel that way! But I must admit, my heart stopped for a minute because I was thinking of the words that Lucas and I wanted to quote to mom in middle school, not the tamer list of forbidden words my kids currently have!
I am still not used to it. The other day, Jessa, who was suffering with a yucky, snotty cough, came in and sat down next to me. In between yucky coughs, she said, "*cough* Mom *cough* Can I *cough* say a *cough* bad word?" I took a deep breath and said, "I guess so." And she said, "Mom, *cough* I am tired of this *cough* stupid cough!" I smiled and said, "Me, too!"
About the time I get used to what they actually mean when they ask me "Can I say a bad word," my heart will stop because they will up the stakes and want to say an actual cuss word.