You know how it goes…
…when there is a small child in your life. They have no filter at all and you need to be prepared. When my daughter was about 3 ½, she got interested in makeup and I explained that ladies don’t pack it on, and that part of the deal is taking care of your skin so it looks nice forever (lessons from my mother). Fast forward to a day at City Market when I was in the checkout line and before I knew what was going to fall out of her mouth, she had riveted the lady behind us with a laser stare and said, “You do realize that you have on way too much lipstick?” Did the floor open up and swallow me whole? Of course not, it never does. And the voice of a small child has incredible carrying capacity in a very high pitched tone that goes right through your fillings.
And then there are the poopy diaper reports. Parents will alert the other parent in a quiet voice so that one of them can take care of it. Small children feel compelled to let everyone in a two mile radius know of the offense. My daughter and son-in-law came up with a family code for this situation. When the younger sister has a poopy diaper, her little brother tells his parents that Sissy has a “Code Brown.” She sometimes reports her own Code Browns to her parents.
Remember the first time a naughty word fell from the lips of your perfect, precious child? After you get your heart beating again, you immediately go into interrogation mode. Cue the scene from the “Christmas Story” movie where Ralphie had a bar of soap in his mouth for that same offense. When you ask where they heard it, be prepared for not much intel. Sometimes they will name a child, who you know for a fact, is too young to even speak in complete sentences. Sometimes they just say “no one”. And then sometimes you remember a conversation you had under your own breath telling a dryer what you thought of it…and remembering who was nearby and heard it…and got the inflection right when they repeated it.
When my younger brother was in second grade, his best friend was a boy down the block who had three older brothers. Remember that key fact. One day this friend told my brother he knew a word that they could yell on the playground and everyone would get crazy and run around. My brother was pretty innocent, but it sounded like fun. Those two boys perched themselves on the upper rail of the chain length fence and yelled that word over and over…and over. You know what word it was…the mother of all bad words…the F- bomb. This was a really big playground and back then teachers were mostly female and wore dresses and high heels. This was not the day to have playground duty. They came running at a breakneck pace to jerk those two off the fence. When my mother got THE CALL from the school, they, and she knew where that word came from, and my brother got a little talk from my parents about not following people when you don’t even know what the heck is going to happen.
If I were the mother or the adult in charge of a small child these days, I would have a roll of duct tape in my purse at all times. I would then practice unrolling a mouth-size piece, ripping it loose, and applying it across the offending mouth…because remember, the ground is never going to open up so you can drop out of sight!