One thing I love about Anders’ preschool is that they provide me with a report on his progress everyday. Anders tends to keep the details of his day under wraps — my inquiries on our drive home are often met with a request to turn up the radio — and so that little piece of paper telling me what he had for lunch, whether he napped or only rested quietly, and what his lesson was for the day is often the only insight I get into how he passed the hours while I worked.
Normally the sheet is pretty standard: Anders ate some of his spaghetti and drank all of his milk, napped for an hour, and learned about ocean life. Until this week, when the progress reports stopped being located in his folder for me to pick up at my leisure and were instead hand delivered to me by his teacher.
It began on Tuesday with a note in red ink. My cheeks burned as I read it under the watchful eye of Anders’ teacher. It said:
“Today during free play, Anders referred to his toy’s bottom as its ‘a**.’ Please, speak with Anders about what words are appropriate to use in the classroom.”
That night we had an informal conversation with Anders at dinner about his language. He seemed embarrassed and promised he wouldn’t do it again. He kept his promise. The next day when his teacher met me at the door at pick-up it was not to tell me he had used that word in particular. No, today he had upgraded to sh*t.
I just shook my head, mortified, and promised her we would take care of it. That night dessert and television were sorely missed by my foul-mouthed son. I wish the story ended there, with an unpleasant evening of whining over the absence of sweets and re-runs of Sponge Bob Squarepants, but there was another note today. A note informing me that Anders had progressed from forbidden words to entire phrases. Today he had emphatically implored a higher power to curse something, if you know what I mean.
We didn’t even make it to car before Anders began begging me not to tell his dad about his misbehavior, but we hadn’t pulled into the driveway before I had my husband on the phone relaying his teacher’s words.
After a lengthy lecture on the use of foul language Anders was sent to bed after dinner while it was still light out. We didn’t even let him bathe for fear he might enjoy himself.
Tomorrow is Friday and, at this point, there is only one four letter word yet to pass my son’s lips. Let’s hope he doesn’t like his Fridays with a little alliteration.
Has your kid ever used swear words in public? Please tell me this is a passing phase.