How I Mastered Parenting Forever Until I Didn’t

So when I left off last week, my five-year-old son had been in trouble for using naughty words. His excuse for using those words was that he didn’t know enough Spanish and therefore HAD to use them. 

This morning a perfect opportunity opened up for us to rehash this discussion, which was a good thing. I hadn’t felt that I had really gotten through to him in our previous discussion and had been hoping for a chance to broach the subject again in an organic way, so as not to alert his brain that he was being lectured. He’s a smart kid and if he gets the impression that he’s in trouble, then he will shut down and just say what he thinks I want to hear.

Side note: Is it even possible to “get through” to a five-year-old boy? Probably not, but I tried anyway and this is how it went.

Luke: Mom, I just feel like I’m going to be on the naughty list forever.

Me: What makes you think you’re on the naughty list?

Luke: Because I use bad words EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Me: Why do you think you need to use bad words when you know all sorts of big, smart words?

Luke: Because they help me talk like I feel when I say them.

Me: Hmmm, I have an idea. Let’s make a list of your bad words and come up with other things you can say that mean the same thing, but sound nicer?

Luke: Oh Mom, you’re talking like an old man.

Me: Okay, instead of saying “stupid” what could you say instead?

Luke: Oooh, I know. I could say, “You’re fired!”

Me: Great! Okay, what about the word “hate?” That’s a really bad one. What could we say instead of that?

Luke: I’m done talking about this. Can I have a snack?

Me: No. Not until we finish. Instead of saying, “I hate this,” what could you say?

Luke: I guess I could just say somefing like, “I don’t want to be here!”

Me: Okay, great. Now let’s do one more. Instead of saying “shut up” what is something else you could say. 

Luke: You never got me a snack.

Me: That’s because we aren’t finished. Now, this is the last one. Instead of saying “shut up” you could say…

Luke: Okay. Okay. I could just say, “Hey, I don’t want to talk about this.”

Me: That’s perfect! So next time you get angry instead of using those bad words you can use the nicer words and I will still know how you feel. I’m so proud of you. 

I get up and leave the room to get him the snack I had promised when I hear him mumble, “I don’t want to be here. She is SO fired.”

Wait. Was that progress? 

 photo de03a1e3-0ff0-40f3-aaf5-ce06dd112267.png

Why My Son Uses Bad Words: A Luke-ism

Today was a rough behavior day at our house. It was the kind of day when a certain five-year-old boy lost one privilege after another until he was basically stripped of every Lego, battery operated device, and toy he had. All he had access to was paper, crayons, and his books. 

I settled in to do a little writing while Luke busied himself with the only things he had available. 

Ten minutes later he was back at my side complaining of being bored. “I’m tired of coloring. Can I have a toy back?”

“No. Go read a book.”

“I can’t read.”

Dammit. I hate when my kid’s punishment punishes me, too.

I closed my laptop and told him to go pick out a few books for me to read to him. He snuggled up beside me on the couch as I opened the first book.

“Mom,” he said. “Do you know why I use bad words sometimes?”

“No. Why?”

“It’s because I don’t know enough Spanish.”


  • Saturday night we roasted marshmallows in the fireplace and made s’mores. Luke was very excited. “Mom, these marshmallows are so sexy!” Everyone got quiet. “Did I say a bad word?”  “Well, it isn’t a bad word,” I told him. “It’s a grown-up word that kids don’t need to use.”   Now, everywhere we go he feels it necessary to educate the public on the word “sexy” and how it should only be used by grown-ups. During this awkward process he generally says “sexy” another five or six times. I’m onto his game. 
  • Brantley whispered to Luke this morning, “What do you want to get Mom for Christmas?” Luke whispered-shouted back, “A fruit roll up.” I can hardly wait. 

Least Intelligent Thing I’ve Said All Week

Luke (3 1/2 yrs.) overheard his father and I having a conversation in the car. Without thinking, I made mention of the coyotes that we often hear behind our house at night. Luke piped up, “Mom, did you say we have coyotes?!” Not wanting him to be worried about coyotes outside our house, thus adding to his already vast nightmare material, I said the only thing I could think of that sounded like coyote. “No baby,” I lied. “I said we have..peyote.”
There just aren’t enough words that rhyme with coyote.

PS: If my blogging is scarce next week it is due to the fact that we will be rocking Disney World for eight days. Please pray that I don’t lose my mind and purchase a bunch of Disney themed clothing. Cheers!

Tennessee Mom Fights To Keep First Amendment Rights

When I think back to just one year ago, I’m reminded of a time of free expression- a time when I didn’t have to watch my back every time I opened my mouth. Alas, those days are gone and in their place I have been left with fear and intimidation.
“What kind of person could illicit such fear and anxiety from a grown woman?” you ask. Allow me to introduce you to Luke Wescott. While not quite four years old, this sly and stealthy son of mine has the ability to be everywhere at once. And, if there were a town called Bad Wordville, he’d be the mayor.
I walked through the living room yesterday morning with my coffee cup in hand. Luke was tucked away in his bedroom playing with his trains, and I only left him long enough to go downstairs for a quick refill. I was approaching the staircase when I stepped on one of his toys and lost my balance. I caught myself before falling, but as a result I spilled my coffee everywhere.
“$#!*,” I muttered under my breath. No sooner had I gotten the word past my lips did Luke emerge from the very next room. He darted around the corner with such gusto that his sock feet slid two or three feet across the floor before coming to a stop.
“Oooh Moooom, you said a bad word. I’m gonna call Dad at CVS and tell him, and you’re gonna get soap in your mouf. You better not say dat again in your whole wife. You unnastand me?”
“Yes, ok. I’m sorry, but you know what, honey? Moms can say words that kids can’t say.”
“No, it’s still a bad word. Dat’s a time out, Mom.”
I was clearly not getting anywhere with my argument so I sat on the stairs for a few minutes to think about what I had done. I wasn’t one bit sorry, though. Adults should be allowed to use four-letter words. I began thinking about how much I would love to debate him on the matter. I would totally win and have the support of Moms everywhere by arguing that parents should have the right to use their “power words” whenever they deemed it appropriate. The fact that my opponent couldn’t pronounce his L’s wouldn’t hurt my case either. I know that may be hitting below the belt, but I fight dirty…damn darn it.

Modern Family and a Four Letter Luke-ism

Last night’s episode of Modern Family was great for a lot of reasons. If you’ve never watched this show, I highly recommend you start. In this episode, one of the preschool aged characters picks up a four-letter word and wears it out.
This is something every parent can relate to. At one point or another, every child will say something its parents don’t approve of. My ability to relate developed on Monday when I picked Luke up from preschool. I had just buckled him into his car seat and pulled away when he asked, “Mom, is shut-up a bad word?”
“Yes, it is,” I told him.
“Well, shit!”
I wasn’t sure if I had heard him correctly so I didn’t say anything at all. However, when he used the same four-letter word several more times I was no longer able to ignore it.  Reprimanding and reprogramming commenced, which is why I now carry a bar of soap in my purse, and in my car.
Now, I’m not going to point fingers and say where I think he heard that word (Brantley L. Wescott) because it doesn’t matter. What doesmatter is what we do about it. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether to correct the behavior, or ignore it and lead by example. Arguments could be made for both sides, and there’s no right or wrong answer. (Don’t email me and tell me there is.)
I guess my point is this, though every family and circumstance is different, we all go through similar struggles. I couldn’t see the humor in my own situation this week, but it was pretty funny when it was happening to someone else on TV. I had to share.

You can still enter to win Trainwrecks and Pink Clouds. Click here for details.