Blame it On the Far Side

The other evening one of those parenting moments comes along that everyone knows will happen, but very few get the opportunity to choose when, or to prepare adequately for beforehand.

I was engaged in a fierce Nerf-gun war with my three kids.  They were furiously reloading at the end of the hallway as I awaited their heads peeking around the corner for me to take a shot at.  No, they weren’t wearing eye-protection or helmets.  That’s the kind of dad I am.  
I heard my oldest son (aged nine and a half) say something, but I wasn’t sure I heard him right.  So I asked him what he said.  He repeated it, and I still wasn’t sure I heard him clearly.  I asked him one more time, and he obliged.
“Damn!”
That’s what I thought he had said the first time, but it caught me by surprise.  He said it very matter of factly, and appeared to be using it in it’s usual context of expressing some level of frustration.  I asked him where he had learned that word.
“From reading The Far Side.”  
My oldest son has – for years – been obsessed with my collections of The Far Side and Bloom County comic strips.  I grew up on them and still love them deeply.  Like his father, my son has committed vast swaths of both of these comic strips to memory, and loves to bring out choice quotes at some of the darndest times.
So, I gathered the troops.  It was clear that he didn’t understand that it was an inappropriate word, so I wasn’t angry at him.  I explained how there are two forms of the word damn/dam.  They understood what the polite form of the word meant, as we had just driven across one a few weeks earlier.  They wanted to know why the other form was bad, and what it meant.  So, I explained the theological underpinnings of the word as best I could and enjoined them not to use it.  They seemed to accept this pretty easily.
At least I haven’t heard them using the word since.  
Can’t wait to see what the next word is we have to explain!

2 Responses to “Blame it On the Far Side”

  1. Dianne Says:

    This reminds me of daughters being 7 and 4 or 8 and 5…..I’m not sure how old they were but in that time frame, my older daughter rushes in the house to tell me that her younger sister just said the *F* word. I was totally mortified because we don’t say the *F* word. I asked my older daughter what her younger sister said and she replied “Fart.” Mom, she said Fart.” While I don’t like that word either, I was somehow happy to hear it. Kids say the darndest things, don’t they?

  2. Paul Nelson Says:

    They do.  Fart is one of our kids’ favorite words.  My wife blames this on me.  She has a point.  Thankfully, I am forgiven

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