“Daddy, what’s the b word?” my son asked.
“No, that’s not it, Dad.”
“No. ” He was growing impatient.
“You’re right. Botox is only bad if you get too much and you look like…oh forget it.”
“Do you want to wrestle?” He stared me down.
“Is that a rhetorical question?”
He leapt on top of me possibly figuring he could beat the answer out of me.
Despite the headlock I still had another wisecrack in me. “Can I still say no?”
I didn’t divulge the b word further piquing his curiosity about bad words and gestures.
“Dad, which is the bad finger?” he asked a couple of days later.
I was ecstatic he didn’t ask what it meant.
“Is it this one?” He pointed his index finger at me.
“That’s the one but don’t ever do that again. Understood?” I kept a straight face to show him I meant business.
“Okay, Daddy.” He nodded.
A few days later my daughter raced into the living room out of breath. “Daddy, CJ gave me the bad finger.”
I was calm, cool, and collected knowing he was using the wrong finger. I‘d simply handle this the same way I handled it previously.
However, CJ stormed into the living room like a man possessed. He flipped her the bird. The middle finger. I was appalled.
He started to kick at Lexy. I stepped between the two of them to break it up. He missed Lexy but got me square in the stomach.
“Dammit, crap, #^@*!” While rolling on the floor in agony, I threw in a few more expletives.
Seconds later, I heard my son saying, “Dammit, crap, #^@*!”
“Nice language you’re teaching the kids, Brad,” my wife said from the kitchen.
Nobody cared that I was writhing in pain.
“At least he doesn’t know the b word,” I said.
“That’s great. He knows every other curse word.”
A few hours later, one of the kids accidentally stepped on me while the other smacked me in the back of the head with a Twizzler. (That’s right, a Twizzler.)
“Oh, bit@#!” Now he knew the b word.
Thankfully, we spoke to him and he didn’t repeat any of the curse words again. However, my wife and I were both aware these words were buried somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of his brain and could re-emerge at a moment’s notice. Knowing our luck this would most likely occur in school or at church as the priest was going around shaking hands with the parishioners.
“And who is this fine young man?” the priest would ask offering his hand.
However, a more likely scenario is that the priest would come over and say hi. CJ would then step on my toes going to shake the priest’s hand.
“Dammit, crap, #^@*!” I’d scream.
The priest would look at me in horror.
Copyright © 2009, Brad Manzo