Last Updated on September 6, 2020 by World's Okayest Mom
Who’s to blame when My Girl gets in trouble for cursing?
A couple months ago, I wrote a blog post about My Girl’s version of insults, cursing and revenge (posted here for your convenience if you missed it).
Since that time, My Girl has done nothing but improve her witty repartee. I don’t know what that says about us as a family since she’s spent those last few months exclusively with me, The Husband and Monica’s clan.
And since I prefer to not take responsibility (or at least sole responsibility), the other question is: Who’s to blame?
Blame the 4YO and murder hornets
In all honestly, I blame Little LuLu. Yes. The 4YO. I think she has taught My Girl, and possibly all of us bad habits during our time of quarantine together.
When it comes to insults, there’s no one like a child. The younger the better. The less filter the better. The lack of enunciation the better. Little LuLu checks all the boxes.
Me? I sting like a honey bee. I come up with one good insult – usually after time to contemplate and word it just perfectly, and usually after the fact, so thus, useless on its own.
Little LuLu though, she stings like a wasp. Or a killer bee. Oo oo! Like a murder hornet! She just keeps coming at you until you’re reduced to a puddle of despair and despondency. It’s a gift.
Blame BJ Novak
She had some help though. Have you read BJ Novak’s book The Book With No Pictures? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. And no, he’s not offering me any sponsorship dollars. I would sell this book just for the fact that Ryan the Temp wrote it. But it’s also super cute.
Monica is the master at reading it aloud. She’s going for an Emmy every time she performs it, because “performs” is the only word to use as a description. And during the height of quarantine, she was performing it nightly.
The problem with the book is it gave Little LuLu too many ideas, too many creative curses.
“Little LuLu, eat the rest of your hot dog.” She responds: “Glug, glug, your face is a bug.”
“Little LuLu, don’t smack Jane in the face with Mr. Stufferton.” She answers: “You’re a monkey who taught yourself to read!”
(BTW, Mr. Stufferton is an ugly as sin stuffed weasel that My Girl won at Chuck E. Cheese and is the basis of 90% of the fights between our three girls).
“Little LuLu, you’re putting your shoes on the wrong feet.” She retorts: “Your head is made of blueberry pizza.”
“Little LuLu, you have to leave blankie on your bed.” She says: “You eat ants for breakfast… right off the rug.”
You get the picture. Monica has lost sleep these many nights worrying that Little LuLu was going to say one of these offensive things to her preschool teacher. Since I heard the same preschool teacher ask a child if he was being a “sassy pancake”, I wouldn’t let that concern trouble my eight hours. (Ha! Eight hours of sleep?! Try five.)
Blame the Stinky Little Pig
We should have known better than giving Little LuLu more ammunition for name calling. She was doing just fine without 30 pages of possibilities from Mr. Novak. After all, she’s been calling The Husband “Stinky Little Pig” exclusively since December.
When greeting him… Stinky Little Pig.
When asking Chandler about him… Stinky Little Pig.
When including him in her bedtime prayers… Stinky Little Pig.
I have a theory that God knew exactly who she meant and probably thought: “He is a stinky little pig!”
(Just kidding, Dear. I love you and think you smell like nice.)
After a co-family vacation with the Chandler and Monica tribe, The Husband finally outfoxed the 4YO. She insisted on being called “Pretty Pretty Unicorn” but The Husband decided to use only “Princess Boo Boo Butt.” (There’s that nasty Boo Boo Butt rearing its head again.. Boo Boo Butt is, obviously, from The Book With No Pictures, but The Husband, in his infinite kindness added Princess just for LuLu.)
This, Little LuLu did not take kindly to. At all.
After a week of in-fighting between the two, they struck a deal. She will desist calling him Stinky Little Pig and he will end the reign of Princess Boo Boo Butt.
A month into this treaty, I have to say I’m impressed that Little LuLu is holding up her end of the bargain. She may be part murderous hornet, but she has some honor in her little frame.
Blame My Maternal Side
As for My Girl, she has come by her insults and foul language honestly. I have a proud matronly family history of cursing.
My grandfather could lace together a daisy chain of profanity that would make the devil himself proud. But it was when he was silent that you truly had to worry. Why couldn’t I inherit that? A menacing silence?
He drove the school bus I rode every day until The Sister could be enticed to give me a ride. When a student did anything to upset him (raise their voice above the hushed tones reserved for the library, or heaven forbid, wipe the steam off the window with their hand and not the rags he had tucked into every seat for just that purpose), he would pull the bus over, walk to the offending passenger, lean over them and stare.
That was it. And that was enough.
Oh to wield such power with only my eyes and disapproving stare! My relationship with My Girl would be very different, I imagine.
My mother inherited some of that talent for profanity from my grandfather. By no means a proficient as he was at cussing, she could hold her own in a portside tavern.
Blame My Dad
But my dad. Oh my dad.
If you’re wondering about what flowery curses he could manufacture out of thin air, let me just say this: In my teenage years, though I *may have* missed curfew on a rare occasion and while he *may have* found a boy in the house when perhaps there shouldn’t be one, the biggest trouble I ever got in was the time I said “sucks” at the dinner table.
That’s right folks. Sucks. As in having mashed potatoes for dinner “sucks.” (I wasn’t a fan of mashed potatoes growing up.)
I did hear him cuss once and it was a joyous occasion.
Let me paint the picture: Dinner at Bob Evans (tawdry, I know) with my parents and The Sister. At least one of us, if not both, were in college at the time. Growing up with our grandfather, and to some extent, our mom, by this time, we were not in possession of virgin ears. My dad was relating the plot line to a movie he and my mom recently watched.
My Dad: “(blah blah blah about the movie) And that fucking seal jumped out!”
(I usually censor my blog, but in this case, it was necessary.)
Oh yeah, did I mention the only time I ever heard my dad cuss was when retelling a Disney movie starring Paul Walker and sled dogs?
Also, the best part wasn’t the fact that my Dad dropped the f-bomb in the middle of Bob Evans when discussing a PG family movie, but it was his reaction. As soon as the sentence escaped, his mouth formed this surprised O and he covered it quickly with this hand, as if trying to push back the profanity. He looked like the Coppertone baby when the dog pulls her britches down.
That is a sight I will never unsee. Nor do I want to.
Blame Me? Nah…
I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m certainly no patron saint of clean language, but I did not inherit Pappy’s flair for the expletive. Around My Girl, I tend to refine my words to things like “effing” and “blood”. But if I truly had my way, I’d cuss like George Washington.
One soldier, after witnessing the General’s hissy fit, said: “Yes, sir, he swore on that day, till the leaves shook on the trees, charming, delightful. Never have I enjoyed such swearing before or since. Sir, on that ever-memorable day, he swore like an angel from heaven.”
I would love for my swearing to be such a glorious thing.
That, somehow, leads me back to My Girl.
She’s got the deck stacked against her. Between the family genetics (Pappy’s extensive French vocabulary plus my mom plus my dad’s accidental slips during times of extreme stress – i.e. suspenseful children’s films), B.J. Novak’s ever helpful book of creative insults, and constant companionship with Little LuLu who wields Novak’s book like a deadly weapon, My Girl was bound to get herself into trouble when she went back to school.
I didn’t foresee it being a Boo Boo Butt incident though. I imagined something much worse, because over the last two months, My Girl has created her own effective – yet hilarious – insult.
Mainly, she will say (with a terrible French accent):
And like the excellent mother I am, I laugh. Every. Damn. Time.
Because it’s hilarious, because she usually uses it in the right context, and because, Aaron Burr really was the worst.
Oh, yeah. If you missed any of the last five blog posts, we’re obsessed with Hamilton in our household. Obsessed might be a watered-down word to use. We’re living, breathing it, and will probably storm down Disney’s magical gates like eighteenth-century Bostonians who just had their tea taxed to the max if they ever remove the film version from Disney+.
I consider myself lucky, though, that My Girl has only decided to use “You are the worst, Burr” as an insult when I’ve asked her to clear the dinner table. Considering that half of the songs begin with a rambling prelude of slurs and slanders against our “founding father without a father”, it could have been much worse.
Think: bastard, loud-mouthed bother, son of a whore…
But that was not the attitude taken by the little boy during recess this week. If My Girl reenacted her Marquis de Lafayette impression, the boy probably would have looked at her like she was crazy – which she is – and moved on. But since she decided to go with a Little LuLu affront, he took umbrage.
Actually, I believe the exact words were something along the lines of threat of physical violence. This little boy has no imagination, and I am ashamed for him. This is also the same little boy who was My Girl’s first boyfriend and first heartache (see here).
I have a sneaking suspicion (and dread) that this boy and My Girl will continue to tango all throughout school, and not always in a “you’re a boo boo butt” kind of way.
He’s going to have to get better at handling barbs though, if he’s going to make it with My Girl.