Today Mia used the word stupid. I think I would have been happier if she had said the word shit.
Maybe that seems a bit odd to you, but let me explain.
I do not know where she picked up the word stupid and in all likelihood it was probably in her own home; from her own mother or father’s tongue during a momentary lapse of judgment. Or, maybe, it was from somewhere else – someone else. I do not know which scenario is more pleasant. Where she learned the word is important. Context is important. But I, unfortunately, cannot be sure of either. All I know is that she said it with the surety of someone who is positive of it’s meaning. All I know is that it spewed out of her mouth this afternoon with alacrity. All I know is she said it and I was surprised.
I bet your still thinking I’m a bit nuts for viewing the word stupid as more shocking than the word shit, but I’m not done explaining yet.
Because I do not know in what context it was said to Mia I am worried. Yes, worried. I am continually in a state of worry. I live my life on the fringes of bullying. Waiting for the day one strikes. Waiting for the day some mean hearted child who wasn’t taught kindness by their parents strikes out against mine; who loves and views everyone in this world as equally important and special. Because I do not know in what context this word was first spoken to Mia, or the context in which she learned it, I am affright. Because Mia’s speech is limited I fear she would have a hard time expressing to me that someone was picking on her – in my mind the only way I would be able to find out this information is if she used her amazing memory to script the lines being thrown at her, or by my adept reading of her body language.
The reason this scares me so is because the word “stupid” is a word on my trigger list – a list of words I anxiously await to hear, tipping me off that something is amiss, tipping me off that a bully is near. This is a word Roger and I try our hardest not to use in her presence. This is a word I expected to hear being hurdled at my daughter across the playground. This is not a word I expected to hear out of her own sweet mouth. When and if I did I was sure I would be able to track it back to it’s source – a big mean bully.
Yes, Mia used the word stupid and I would have rather she used the word shit.
That’s not to say I want my child swearing. That’s not to say I think shit is an appropriate word for a six year old. That’s not to say I think shit is a kind word, but at least I could be sure that it wasn’t used as a word to demean her character or her abilities.
At least with shit I wouldn’t have a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. At least with shit I wouldn’t have those feelings of insecurity. Insecurity not about my daughter, but about the nature of the human race – a race I know only too well as cruel and inconsiderate. Yes, at least with the word shit I wouldn’t have to worry about the intense trepidation that has once again risen to the surface. I wouldn’t have to think about my daughter and her inevitable relationship with bullies.