Thursday, August 09, 2007

Parents These Days

So there I was hot on the prowl for laundry detergent when I hear a tiny little voice say "f*ck you!" over my shoulder.

As I turn to see the source of this otherwise innocent sound, another much older voice responds with: "No, f*ck you!"

At about that point I realize this is an exchange between a young boy (about 2 years-old) and his father, who is pushing a shopping cart alongside a woman I assume to be the boy's mother.

The father smiled at his son, poking him gently in the belly.

"No, f*ck you!" the boy screamed back, laughing.

This repetitive parley continued as I rounded the corner and thought about what I'd seen.

Meanwhile outside a 10-year-old boy rides his bike several feet ahead of his friends, demonstrating just how deft he was at cycling without the aid of hands.

He proved this by raising both to shoulder level, palms pointing in and squeezed to a close.

On each hand, his middle finger was raised to the world, serving as a stark reminder to passersby of just how important it is that every child have a parent who teaches them — what else — but the vulgarity of cool.


XOXO said...

Sounds like my clients. Now do you understand why I'm leaving?

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

I never questioned your decision, honestly.

Pamela said...

collapse of society

Jake Goodfleisch said...

i like people to be a little sick, but all of the negative energy adds up. i know i'm starting to feel old because i notice people's litter every time i go for a walk. i don't take as many walks in the woods because i feel like i have to pick up everybody's trash!

it is what it is. if the negativity and litter causes me to smile at a stranger and clean up a walking path in the woods then maybe there is a hidden purpose.

Michael K said...

Kids will pick up on dirty language on their own. I don't think this kid's pop is thinking of the kid as anything other than something to amuse him.

Unacademic Advisor said...

Of course, there is nothing inherently bad... or good... in a word or a hand gesture. It is merely our belief that the signs are "bad" that makes them so.

I'd like to believe that this father and the bicycling kid were making a statement about the arbitrariness of signs and customs. But I'm not that naive.

It is most likely that these folks also believe these particular signs to be "bad" and are using them to make themselves seem "bad." It's kinda sad if you think about it.

Mystic Wing said...

It's hard to know what to say in such situations, but I've now decided that there is no reason to look the other way when people behave like boors.

More and more, I tell folks when I find their behavior to be unacceptable.

ds said...

I was the
boy in my small neck of the
big woods who wrote
bad things in the
road and lied
to dad when he stopped
the car to
snuff them out
dark tires over them.

it could have been
no one
else. I lived
nowhere. and as I lied
he knew I lied and let
it go.
sins commit their own

all the time I hated the person
that made me do it, and
the one
that did it.


Anonymous said...

My mother used to say that vulgar language was the sign of a limited vocabulary. Imagine being seven and thinking that a limited vocabulary is a sin. I would hope my kids are better at expressing themselves than that.

Winter said...

And that is why I don't like people. (Kids too.)

disgruntled world citizen said...

on hand that is kinda funny, and yet, if either of those kids use that kind of language in public or in school or somewhere they will be confused (at least the little guy will) by the reaction. they won't get the laugh, but will get in trouble. that's what's so bothersome about it to me.

Stacy said...

I think I am going to throw up now. Please forgive me for being so vulgar.

=) said...

So let me get this straight...are you saying these were bad things? As a new parent I'm still trying to figure it all out.