I buckled my little girl in her seat and closed the van door.
“Where we going Mommy?” she asked, as I backed out of our driveway.
“We are going to wash and vacuum our stinky van!”
She didn’t answer.
I looked in the rearview mirror at her little face deep in thought.
And then she said, “Yep, it sure smells like cr*p in here.”
Y’all. I nearly had a wreck.
“What did you say?” I said s-l-o-w-l-y.
And so she said it again.
“Honey, that is a very bad word,” I said disapprovingly.
“Which one?” she asked innocently.
I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to find out where she heard it. It’s not something we normally say. I didn’t make much progress and tried to turn it into a teachable moment.
But it was also hard not to replay the moment over and over in my mind. It made me laugh every time (secretly, of course). It was just so unexpected.
Later that day, my oldest and I were alone in the car and I told her what happened. Except I said, “Your sister said a bad word today. You will never believe what she said.”
But only the next part didn’t go like I planned.
Because my nearly 12 year old said, “Did she say @!&*#?”
And I nearly had my second wreck of the day.
“Um, No, she didn’t. WHERE DID YOU HEAR THAT WORD?”
She nervously laughed. I joined her. Nervously.
“Mom, I go to public school. You can try and shield us from all the bad things in the world, but we are going to be exposed to things that are worldly. We know right from wrong. I’ve never said that word. It was just a guess.”
And then we both giggled. For real this time. My child is so wise and her words were true. I tend to overreact about things like “bad words.” It was good to just chill and learn from my kids.
Later that night, my little one said, “Mom, remember when I said that word today?”
“I can’t remember what it was,” she sighed.
“I know! Will you tell me all the bad words you know so I can remember?”
Clearly I have my work cut out.