Watch Your Mouth, Kid…There Are Women Around

11 May 2013

My grandson Jesse is 4.
That’s all the setup this blog needs. He and his older brother Noah, hungry beyond hunger, but resisting calls for dinner, were on the sofa wrestling. A few seconds in, Jesse whimpered, staggered out of the scrum on the sofa and fell dramatically on the floor and announced without tears…therefore, showing courage without trying to get his brother in trouble…”Noah hit my penis”. Anatomically precise language brought a smile to his face.

Lisa, their mother, inured to Jesse’s drama, flung the sixth or seventh call to dinner in their general direction. But it fell on deaf ears and Jesse went back to the war on the sofa, the ongoing battle for survival that every newer male family member knows innately is needed, enlarging one’s space and earning respect by not backing down. Thirty seconds later he emerged, victimized again, clutching his male area, staggering, falling and shriveling into a fetal position and delivering with all the pathos of a tormented Hamlet…before succumbing to giggles…”Noah squeezed my balls”.

He’s four. And somehow this tender-aged boy is talking like a punch-drunk tomato can, after taking a jab to the jewels, who then has to be reminded to watch his language, there are women around. Only how do you tell a four-year-old that he should leave his potty mouth in the locker room. Of course, he knows what a potty mouth is, but he also knows how funny little-boy outrage can be. An adult warning would be less helpful than letting it drop. And anyway, how do you teach a lesson, when you’re doubled over in laughter.