Lately, I have enjoyed hanging out with the children in my life more than some adults. The kids always do something that makes me laugh, their innocence always makes me feel good, and they listen to me when I tell them not to do something or else face the punishment of time-out.
Their language is not yet offensive. A profane two-year-old word is nothing more than joking about “poop,” and calling Daddy stupid results in a loss of television privileges. I wonder how long before a four-letter word becomes much more serious than “poop” because Mom or Dad made the mistake of turning on the news and exposing the kiddies to a foul word emanating from the mouth of our president?
Once they go out in the world and are exposed to bad behavior and questionable language on the playground, on television, or in what they read, how do they learn that name calling is never okay and cursing from the mouths of babes is unacceptable? It’s impossible to protect them. When I was a kid, I remember the first four-letter bad word I heard was “suck,” and it was many years later before I learned of its more famous rhyming curse word.
I used to always enjoy going out to dinner with friends, but now it is not necessarily a guarantee of a night of relaxation and pleasure. With politics being so polarizing and the news so depressing, I sometimes come home wishing I never left. A recent example was when I saw the dinner discussion heading south, so I asked to turn the conversation to something less inflammatory such as the recent nor’easter. I politely reminded one of my dinner companions to stop referring to women as chicks. My requests went unheeded, so a short time later, we decided to call it a night.
Next week we are having a sleepover with the children, and I am looking forward to a nice evening of silliness and sweetness.