One Sunday afternoon I was getting ready to go to church and I told my oldest son, John, who was five years old at the time, to go get dressed.
His mom and little brother had already gone, so it was just the two of us, and John was at that "I can do it myself" age where he wanted to pick out his own clothes and dress himself. As a loving father in the middle of football season, I was all over it. Dress yourself, feed yourself, drive yourself to church, I'm fully supportive of your attempt at self-sufficiency.
John was in his room at the other end of our house, and as he was "dressing" I heard him say, "Dammit!"
Not wanting to lose any teachable moment, I went to his room to find him sitting on the bed with his shoes on, untied.
"Son, what did I hear you say just now?
"Have you ever heard Mama or Daddy say that word?"
"Have you ever heard Grannie or Grandaddy or Nana or Susie or (I listed most of the family members at this point) say that word?"
"Then why did you say it?"
And with all the innocence and honesty a five-year-old has by nature, he replied:
"Because I couldn't get my damn shoes tied."
Which leads me to this story, forwarded to me today by my mom:
LEARNING TO CUSS
A 6 year old and a 4 year old are upstairs in their bedroom.
"You know what?" says the 6 year old. "I think it's about time we started cussing."
The 4 year old nods his head in approval. The 6 year old continues "when we go downstairs for breakfast, I'm gonna say something with hell and you say something with ass."
The 4 year old agrees with enthusiasm.
When the mother walks into the kitchen and asks the 6 year old what he wants for breakfast, he replies, "Aw, hell, Mom , I guess I'll have some Cheerios."
WHACK! He flies out of his chair, tumbles across the kitchen floor, gets up, and runs upstairs crying his eyes out, with his mother in hot pursuit, slapping his rear with every step. His mom locks him in his room and shouts, "You can stay there until I let you out!"
She then comes back downstairs, looks at the 4 year old and asks with a stern voice, "And what do YOU want for breakfast, young man?"
"I don't know", he blubbers, "but you can bet your fat ass it won't be Cheerios!"