“Mommy, can I say the ‘s’ word?”
I’m driving. Always when the questions come, I’m driving. “What’s the ‘s’ word again, Zaff?” I sigh. I have a vague recollection of having this discussion dozens of times before. You’d think I’d remember the details.
“I can’t say it because it’s a bad word. So I need your permission,” Zaffron replies.
Mgazi pipes in with a, “Yeah, the ‘s’ word is a bad bad word, Mommy. Zaffy needs your mission.”
“Thank you, Mgazi. Zaffron, I give you permission. Please, feel free to use the ‘s’ word.”
“Thanks, Mom. So, you know Kenton, at school? He is so stupid. He said he doesn’t want to be my girlfriend anymore. I said, ‘Kenton, you are the boy. I am the girl. That makes you my boyfriend, not my girlfriend.’ Then he said that he didn’t want to be my boyfriend anymore. He’s just so stupid, Mom.”
Mgazi doesn’t want to be left out. “Zaffy kissed Kenton, Mom. It was so stupid.”
My six-year old has a boyfriend. My four-year old just informed me that they kissed. A smart woman would have pulled the car over to hyperventilate. Instead, I just silently cursed Disney. But this is beside the point and will be left for a future discussion. What’s on my mind right now, as I’m recalling this conversation, is this:
Who told my child that the word “stupid” is a bad word?
Merriam-Webster defines stupid as:
- slow of mind : obtuse
- given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner
- lacking intelligence or reason : brutish
It seems to me that stupid isn’t a bad word at all. It appears to be a very appropriate word that is being accurately used in this context. Zaffron is the funniest and prettiest girl in first grade. Kenton is obviously a slow-minded brute given to unintelligent decisions. You don’t have to be that bright (antonym to stupid) to know that she’s a catch.
Kenton is obviously stupid.
So Zaffy… use the word stupid. As long as you are using it correctly, I don’t mind. While you are at it, go ahead and use the ‘d’ word, dumb. Use them accurately and proudly.
Stupid, fart, dang, poop
Please. Say every word that I wasn’t allowed to say when I was a kid. There shouldn’t be shame attached to words. Say, “dang.” Say, “fart.” Don’t call someone a fart face. That’s not nice. But if you expel intestinal gas from your anus (thank you Merriam-Webster) go ahead and say “Excuse me, I farted.” It’s only polite.
Stupid, dumb, fart, poop. While not my favorite words on the planet, used accurately, they are perfectly good words to use to express oneself at six-years old.
Don’t be shy to use your words, Zaffron. Don’t ask permission. Mommy doesn’t have a solid grasp on the English language. Let’s not let that happen to you.