Thursday, April 16, 2009


Connor has recently decided to start cussing, successfully throwing in a "Dammit!" every now and again. I first heard it on Monday at Mom's, but I thought I was hearing things, that surely Connor was saying something else. So I just let it go- Chip and I kind of have an "ignore it" policy about curse words anyway, not wanting to draw attention to them, so it seemed the right thing to do. But Tuesday night at dinner Connor challenged us with a "Dammit!" right in our faces. I looked at Chip in disbelief, only to have Chip whisper that Connor had said it several times at breakfast that morning too. I suddenly realized what I'd heard Monday had been deliberate.

Since he clearly wouldn't stand to be ignored, we knew we had to address it. I simply told Connor that it isn't a nice word, and that Mom and Dad don't say it (as far as he knows!) so he can't say it either. And you know, that seems to be all he needed. Keep your fingers crossed.

Chloe has her own annoying word these days: Why?

I know it's a child-rearing cliche to complain about all the Why?s. But Connor never really went through that phase, so I was unprepared for just how horrible it is. The real problem for me is figuring out when to answer and when not to. On the one hand, you don't want to discourage learning! But on the other hand, it's obvious that Chloe is just yanking our chain most of the time. But oh what a slippery slope.

Mommy, why are we going this way?
Chloe, we are going this way so we can stop by the store on the way home.
Because we have to pick up supplies for Connor's school project.
Why? (and right here is where it goes from a good question to just being an ass)
Because we don't have the right stuff at home.
We just don't! Enough!!!

And it's not just me- the whole family is struggling with Chloe's existential angst. Chip has taken to responding, "That's not a 'why' question," which I find hilarious since he has a degree in philosophy and is now a lawyer. Wasn't 95% of his schooling spent sitting in classroom with other students, taking turns asking, "Why?"

Poor Connor hears it from her too. While watching Ben 10 yesterday, Chloe innocently turned to her brother and asked, "What's that guy doing?" He walked right into her trap:
He's fighting the bad guy.
Because he wants to destroy Earth or something.
Because he's bad!
Dammit Chloe!


Mrs. Katherine said...

Ha! That is funny.

Heather said...

The "WHY" stage has started to drive me crazy too! I end up saying "Because I said so!"

Stan said...

I laughed out loud and had to that to the husband. Thanks for the chuckle!

Anonymous said...

Very clever. You always make me laugh. Why?

Sassy Molassy said...


Unknown said...

For the record, he warmed up with a 'What the Hell' while at our house last weekend...very credible adult delivery...I looked away...

Stanfill said...

connor is awesome!

Stacey Greenberg said...

so how do you discourage cussing when they know damn well their parents cuss?

Unknown said...

If we get Chloe and GK together they may Why each other enough to where they'll stop. Dammit.

cjaxon said...

Dammit! Why do kids do such horribly funny things? Well, things that are really only funny to us as long as they aren't doing them in public.
Katie is in the "Right, Momma?" stage. It is said as a question, but meant as a statement.