When I was but a wee lass, I had not only never heard my parents utter a "bad word," I had never even heard that such things existed. How they managed to keep my brother who is six years older than I am from imparting this knowledge at some point is beyond me -- but like Ramona Quimby, I probably thought the word "guts" was about as bad as it got.
Then some graffiti "artist" decided to spray paint the side of one of the school buildings with the words "F*ck You!" And being very proud of my second grade ability to read all things, I read the words out loud. My friends were shocked. Apparently, I was the only innocent in the second grade who knew not of such things.
Every once in a while, I ponder the wisdom of having taught my son to read. He reads far too well for his own good and naturally, though he knows there are words out there that one should not say, like "butt" of course, he's still a bit sheltered from the greater world.
Last night we ate dinner with a young teenaged girl who wore a shirt emblazoned with the words, "Stop Checking Me Out!" across the chest. Had I been her aunt, I don't think I would have let her leave with that on, but her actual aunt, while not approving in the slightest, did not choose to fight that battle. And thus my six year old started asking what that meant. Did she want people to stop checking her out at the library like she was a library book? he wondered. Rather at a loss, my husband told him that he (my husband) would explain it to him when he was older, but that by the time he was old enough for the explanation, none would be necessary.
We left the restaurant well aware that we have two daughters and full of hope that when the time of their teenage years arrives that the styles will trend towards baggy sacks.
Today, again my son displayed his remarkable ability to sound out and read things clearly and distinctly. I'm not talking about our discussions of the finer points of the Euplocephalus, nor of the Pharoah Menes. When he was taking a shower at the Y after his swimming lesson he apparently (my husband was with him, not me) came across the following sign, "Sexually inappropriate conduct is prohibited." Naturally, he wanted to know what that meant.
We're perfectly ready to explain the usual birds and bees, which he refuses to ask about in any detail, although I've brought up the topic on occasion. I'm not ready to move on the questions about what's inappropriate when he is apparently not ready for the appropriate as of yet.
Thus, again I ask -- why did I ever teach that child to read?
Posted by Jordana ~ August 14, 2006 03:09 PM
Jordana Adams, Chief Pontificator
jordana at sluggy.net 100 Things (old)