Sunday, February 28, 2010

The "S" Word

As adults, we find ourselves saying words that aren't really a big deal, when coming out of the mouths of adults.

"This outfit looks like crap on me" or "Shut up! That is TOO funny!" or "Trust me, I felt SO stupid!" or "Eww--I HATE anchovies!"

But as you have children, and you continue to say these "bad" words, you realize that out of all the thousands of words your child hears everyday, they will only repeat the things that you DON'T want them to repeat, and words that sound rather inappropriate coming out of a child's mouth.

I'll never forget when Maddie was in her "Terrible Two's" (before she was diagnosed) she picked up on our (incidentally, I place equal blame on my husband) use of these "bad" words, which were only ever used in a casual, non-threatening way.

"I hate my hair! Please tell me if it looks stupid!"

"Can you believe I put on 2 different socks?!? I just realized how stupid it looks. The lighting in this closet is so crappy!"

"I can't get this stupid can opener to work!!!" (Can I get an Amen on that one ladies? Does anyone REALLY have a can opener that actually works??)

Anyhoo, we learned very quickly that stupid, crap, hate, and shut up, although mostly used in jest, and not EVER used to hurt anyone's feelings, or to be mean, were words that we could not say in front of Maddie.

Fast forward 7 years and 2 more children, and still, I feel a sense of sudden regret when I slice my finger open, and let a "crap" slip, or see an advertisement for a pole dancing exercise DVD on TV, and say that it's "stupid" under my breath, only to be reminded by my 5 year old that "Ooooh--mama said a bad word!" knowing good and well that those will be the first 6 words out of his mouth when my husband gets home, or as soon as he walks into my parents' house for a visit.

Embarrassed, I always explain that while it IS a "bad" word, sometimes grown-ups use it, but not in a mean way, and when he is 35, he can use those words as much as he'd like. But not before then.

One morning recently, after we had been up all night checking blood and ketones, and eventually changing her site, Maddie and I, both VERY tired from the night before, were working on her schoolwork. The house was quiet, she was almost through, and she stopped and put her pencil down.

As we both happened to yawn at the same time, she said, "Mama, can I say a bad word?"

"Um....". What is the correct answer to that question?!?

"Just this one time while Reilly and Brendan aren't around."

Stunned, and before I could answer, she screamed, "Diabetes is STUPID, and I HATE it! It's nothing but CRAP!" And then she just looked at me, waiting fir my reaction.

After blurting out all of those obscenities, she still looked tired, but she had a slight sense of relief on her sweet little face. I have to admit, those words do sound far worse coming out of a sweet little 9 year-old, innocent mouth.

She sheepishly waited for me to scowl, or to reprimand her.

After all, she was simply stating the truth about something that we have to fight every day. Something that rules her life and interrupts everything she does. Something that NOT ONE of her friends has to deal with. Something that makes her different. Something that is unfair and tries to defeat her every minute of the day.

So obviously, I smiled wide, and proudly said, "Maddie, I couldn't agree with you more!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. Awe. Poor girl. I totally understand and agree with that sentiment. Sometimes, it does just help to scream it out - and then it's 'all better' for awhile. So awesome and sweet that she even thought to ask you if she could 'say a bad word' before she did! You're a wonderful Mom!

  2. Diabetes IS stupid, and I hate it too! It's nothing but CRAP - - - I couldn't agree more!


  3. Amen!
    Amen to the can opener...
    and especially amen to the Diabetes crap!

    Sometimes you just need to get it out...and slightly strong words are the only thing that will do the trick!

  4. Amen Maddie... there are times I want to scream that at the top of my lungs for my daughter who is too young to be able to say it.

    I love that she asked your permission first, so sweet and so cute!

  5. Hi, I'm Heidi, mom to six-year-old Jack, who has type 1. Our kids have to deal with so much that I think it's good to vent some times, even if that means using a bad word or two. :) We follow the same "rules" regarding language in our house. To my kids, the "S" word is stupid, and they love to call me out on it when I slip. "Mom, you just said the S word!" They haven't figured out the real "S" word yet! :)

  6. Good for Maddie!! =) Its a very brave little girl and a very smart one too who knows when to just let it all out!!!

  7. Sounds like you're raising a wonderful little person. Polite and concise, and very, very right on the money.

    It IS crap. Never a better subject for all those bad words.

    And my son has repeated much, much worse. It's always the world they hear one time they say instead of the one they hear more often. I think they can hear the regret in the last syllable as it gets out of our mouths, and they KNOW. :)

  8. us "adult" twitterers with diabetes use some worse words than that for diabetes sometimes... every word she spoke is truth.

  9. Your blog is such a treat for my wife and I. I pray that we can raise such sweet kids!

  10. From the mouths of babes. . .

    Don't be too hard on her, I've said WAY worse about diabetes in the middle of the night when I've had it up to here and my blood sugar won't some down for nuthin.'

    In fact I just recently had a night like that and my potty mouth was fired up! My husband could definitely tell on me. ;-)

    I loved the way you handled her. Priceless!


  11. Tears in my eyes reading about your beautiful girl
    you are a wonderful mom
    I pray for a cure for your angel