I have a potty mouth. I know this. So when I had children, I had to find a way to curb the cussing. Unfortunately, one or two still slip by me. I'm trying really hard to change it. We now have a "Bad Word" jar. Where you put a certain amount of money into the jar when you curse, and the monetary amount increases every time.
My seven year old has been discovering his love for sports. He is constantly asking me to read the sports section of the newspaper with him, and has even read my pieces on BYB. Not sure he understands them all completely just yet, but he is showing interest.
Recently, we picked up a couple of copies of the New York newspapers. On at least two of them, Alex Rodriguez was on both the front, and back cover. My son seemed a bit upset by this, so I asked him what was wrong.
Son: Why is he on the front, and back cover? This is like the fourth day in a row.
Me: It's hard to explain, but basically, he cheated.
Son: Oh, I see.
I thought that would be the end of the conversation. I have tried to teach my children that cheating is wrong. You achieve success through handwork, and dedication. No short cuts, or unfair advantages. A little while later he comes back, with a very concerned look on his face.
Son: Why did he cheat?
Me: I don't know, baby. I don't know why anyone cheats.
Son: But it's wrong! It's not a very nice thing to do.
Me: No, it's not.
Son: But he's a Yankee.
At this point I was very frustrated. I mean, he IS a Yankee.
Me: Baby, even the Yankees are humans. Sometimes they make mistakes. Some are worse than others, I suppose.
Son: Can we forgive him?
Me: Sure we can!
Son: But it won't be the same, mommy. I will know he cheated.
Me: It's okay to forgive someone. Doesn't mean you have to forget what they did, but you can't hold grudges. It's not good for you.
He walked away, still deep in thought. Sometime later...
Son: Mom, HOW did he cheat?
Me: He used drugs. Drugs are illegal, and very unhealthy for you.
Son: So... he cheated, used drugs, and put his body in danger?
Son: But, why?
Me: No idea.
Son: That wasn't very nice of him.
Me: No, baby. It wasn't.
The rest of the day went by without another question on the topic. But as we watched the news, and as he read the sports on the Kindle, I could tell he was thinking about it.
The next day, he sat at the table, reading the sports. He looked as if he had made a monumental decision.
Son: Mom, you write about the Yankees, right?
Son: Well, I'm very disappointed in ARod, Mommy.
Me: A lot of fans are.
Son: Can you NOT write about him, please? I know it's your job, but can someone else do it?
At this point I was confused.
Son: Because cheating is wrong. Using drugs is bad. And doing anything that can kill you is just plain silly.
"Silly" is his way of saying "stupid."
Me: I'll see what I can do about that.
Son: Just tell your boss that his name is a bad word, and you don't want to have to put money in the jar, do you, mommy?
So, there you have it! I'll have to put a few bucks in the jar for having typed this out. I'm fairly certain my child is an extortionist for this, but at least he has a basic honor system. That's a good thing, right?
Sorry, Casey! I'll have to politely turn down those assignments about "He Who Shall Not Be Named."
--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer
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