[By Nic Lindh on Friday, 09 December 2005]
Andrea has reached the age where the concept of bad words starts to percolate through her evolving neural structures.
At this point her attention is focused on things associated with the “booty-butt,” as she’s beginning to understand that you’re not supposed to show your booty-butt to other people willy-nilly. Which of course makes the booty-butt a forbidden fruit, and thus it must be verbally processed.
Booty-head is a bad, bad thing to call somebody and is not something mommy and daddy will tolerate. Displaying clear indications that she will one day become a White House press secretary, she doesn’t say that word … really.
We had this conversation today:
“Come eat, honey.”
“Did you say booty-head?”
“No, I did not.” (Notice, here, how I did not repeat the word, thereby not lending it legitimacy. That’s what a minor in psychology will do for you.)
“You said booty-head.”
“No, I did not. Come to eat now.”
“Did you say flower?”
I have no idea where that last bit came from.
Another favorite technique is to repeat (or, I strongly suspect, make up) what other children have said at day care.
“John said a bad word.”
“Yes. He said booty-head.”
“John shouldn’t say that word.”
“No, he shouldn’t say booty-head. It’s very bad of him.” A pause for thought. “He’s going to get time-out.”
“You shouldn’t say it either.”
Oh, the headache. “The bad word John said.”
“We don’t say that word, honey.”
“John said it.”
“I know. But just because John said it doesn’t mean we can say it.”
“He said booty-head. He’s very bad,” followed by solemn nodding and apparent pondering of the depths of John’s poor moral fortitude. “Booty-head.”
It’s kind of like living with the Swift Boat Child for Truth.