Bad words / badder words
It's not unusual for there to be a school age child or two hanging around my workplace. Since Higher Education seems to be a landing pad for tired, aging creatives dropping off the fast track, my office is extremely understanding about this.
And since I have more office toys than most, the kiddos tend to show up at my cubicle, squirming and fingering all the shiny things.
My boss's son Austin is a bright, polite third-grader with a two-year-old baby sister. We were making small talk this afternoon when he informed me, "Olivia is learning bad words."
Well okay, now. Finally, something interesting!
"Really? What kind of words? Where did she learn them?"
"Mostly from my grandmother, and me."
My mind went back to Kate's first curse word, which she picked up from my mother at age two. She had repeated it into her PlaySkool My First Tape Recorder over and over as if she were summoning some kind of mother ship, relishing each syllable:
"Godddd Dammmit. GAHD daahhhmmit. God damMITT. "
My mother had cried with embarrassment when I popped out the cassette, labeled it with a Sharpie and tucked it away with Kate's first lock of hair.
I said to Austin, "Yeah, my two-year-old also learned her first bad word from Grandma."
"Really?" He was wide-eyed. "What word was it?"
"A really bad one. I can't say it."
"Please? I'll tell you Olivia's if you'll tell me what Kate said."
"Okay. It was "G-D."
Austin's face clouded.
"You know what Olivia says? Olivia says 'shut up.'"
"Really? Shut up?"
"Yeah, and once I think she said 'crap!'"
"Austin, those aren't such bad words!"
"Yeah, they are. They are if you're my age!"