What Kind of Truck was That, Again? (explicit language ahead)
Over the past eight years of my son’s life, I have learned first-hand why there was a show about the things that children say. My son has always had a great vocabulary, but he, of course, remembers words wrong (or wrong, as in bad, words) sometimes. My husband and I love these moments. They are free entertainment, made in the confines our our home, but occasionally these little gems happen elsewhere.
My first moment of embarrassment and reality check came at CostCo, when my under-two child was yelling, “No, bastard,” as we rounded the corner to the produce section. It actually sounded like this – no battid – so my husband and I, after the looks of horror on our faces had passed, just had a good laugh, pretty sure that no one would know what he was actually saying. He was not addressing anyone in particular, just various items on the shelf, or nothing at all. Just a general shout out to the universe. No, Bastard! I can agree with that, wholeheartedly on at least two occasions a week.
In our home, dentures were known as “German Hingers” (who knows how this happened), a crutch was a “crotch”, and autism was “baptism”. These were mistakes that we did not correct right away, because we got such a kick out of them. Perhaps we were wrong to let him go around misusing those words, but it was relatively harmless. There came a day, however, when it became absolutely necessary to correct a misusage right away. This spectacular example happened one day in my car, when my son and I were on our way home from the grocery store. He was six or seven at the time, so it wasn’t that long ago, really.
“Look, Mommy, a pussy wagon!”
Now, let me stop right here to tell you of my distaste for that word. I hate it. No, I loathe it. No, I despise it. But that doesn’t matter, because my son obviously did not know the true meaning of that word. He had simply heard it somewhere, and was now repeating it.
There was a moment of shocked silence from the front seat as I processed what exactly he had just said, and then muffled laughter. I composed myself enough to ask, “What did you say it was? That truck?”
“A pussy wagon.”
“Why are you calling it that?” I don’t know whether he could hear the laughter in my voice as the question came out, but I tried to be nonchalant.
“That’s what they call it on my game.”
Oh no. Bad Mommy! BAD Mommy! “Which game is that, buddy?”
“You know, the one where you challenge different cars.”
“Oh, okay.” I had no idea which game that was, but, let me tell you, I was going to know as soon as we got home. I continued, “Well why do they call it that?”
“Well, I don’t know, I guess because it looks kinda like a cat crouched down, but kinda with its head up.”
It was time for a talk about this vile word. I was gentle, telling him that that term is a bad word – a very vulgar bad word, but I didn’t tell him the real meaning, because he is young and that is just too much information. I ended by telling him that he shouldn’t say that anymore. He didn’t know that was a bad word, certainly didn’t know what it meant, and I didn’t give him a lecture. That was all I said about it.
When I got home, I just had to tell someone, so I called my parents. After I told my mom, she said, “Here, tell that to your daddy.”
He had a good laugh over it. They don’t live far from us, so he knew the truck in question. He said, “When I was a teenager I had a truck like that one. It wasn’t that kind of truck, though.”
I pass that truck at least twice a week, and in spite of my complete and utter revulsion for that word, each time, I think, “Hey, there’s that pussy wagon.”