The littlest kids and I were heading to the car to take them to Mother’s Day Out. I was carrying Norah while Ronan walked through the yard. He was at the top of the yard by the street when our sprinkler system suddenly and unexpectedly turned on. When they popped up, one sprayed him in the back of the head while another sprayed his chest. He couldn’t figure out which way to go and started batting wildly at the water and screaming. I was still holding Norah plus two lunch boxes and my purse and a juice cup and he was about 30 feet away from me so I couldn’t help him immediately. I tossed the stuff I was holding into the car and stuck Norah back in the house so I could grab him without Norah getting blasted in the face by a sprinkler as well. Our elderly neighbor was on her morning walk with her dogs and was laughing at the chaos. My own reaction was vacillating between laughter and feeling awful for him because he really did think he was stuck in between what must have felt like water cannons attacking him. The visual was hysterical, though and I tried my best not to laugh. I was calmly saying “It’s okay, buddy, it’s okay!” while jogging through the yard to save him. Our sweet, speech-delayed 3-year-old must have thought the world was ending because before I reached him, a third sprinkler head popped up and sprayed up his forehead forcing his hair straight up into the air. Now he’s running in place, turning in circles, trying to fend off the sprinkler assault with his out stretched arms. He opened his eyes long enough make eye contact with me and as clear as a bell and loud as a trumpet yells “Mommy- what the f*ck?! What the f*ck Mommy?!” Our very proper neighbor released an audible gasp and covered her wide open mouth with her hands. I finally reached Ronan after what felt like a month. I scooped him up, soaking wet and crying, apologized to the neighbor for hearing a 3-year-old drop the “F bomb” before 9:00 in the morning and headed inside to towel dry his long blonde hair.
I guess I should’ve been mortified by the cussing but instead found myself filled with excitement for him… he’d just said a new, complete sentence and totally used the ‘f*ck’ in the correct context! Progress, y’all!
To be clear, we’re not cool with our kids cussing but we also don’t exactly whisper our own cuss words around them. Garrett calls cuss words ‘sentence enhancers’ and refuses to call them ‘bad words’. He tells the kids that there are no ‘bad words’ just appropriate and inappropriate times to use those words.
I would say that a ground attack by pop up sprinkler heads on an unsuspecting 3-year-old who thought his Mom had abandoned him would be a pretty appropriate time to wonder ‘what the f*ck?’
He was rewarded with a high-five and a cookie.