I don’t know how many times my mother said to my father during their two-week visit, “Michael, language….” Fortunately, my children didn’t add any of his colorful choices to their own vocabulary. In truth, it was Grandma who did the most damage, teaching my sweet, innocent girls the dreaded “p” word.
It all started with the “hat game,” by which my mother cleverly invented a way to mix games and chores. She wrote things down on slips of paper and put them in a hat. Then each child would take a turn choosing a piece of paper, and they would all perform the prescribed task. These included chores like “make your bed,” or “empty the dishwasher,” as well fun items such as, “play Twister” and “read a book with Grandma.”
It was during a seemingly routine scavenger hunt, that one child had fatefully chosen from the hat, when The Incident occurred.
The girls were all outside searching for “three small rocks,” “four round leaves,” “five black ants,” when my mother came inside, laughing, to tell me, “One of the items on the list was a pair of pink panties…” My vision began to blur. “And Grandpa was standing RIGHT THERE when Lucy pulled down her pants to check her panties…” Now the blur had coalesced into the color red. “But I told her, ‘No, Honey, your panties are striped. That doesn’t count.'” My eye began to twitch. “Isn’t that SO FUNNY?”
“Great story, Mom,” was all I managed to say, between gritted teeth. She was too elated to notice my tone as she pranced back outside.
To make things worse, my aunt and uncle came to join us for dinner that evening. During my mother’s wildly inappropriate retelling of this event, Lucy leaned toward me and loudly whispered, for all to hear, “Panties means underwear, Mom,” as though I had never heard the word before.
“Yea, thanks kid. Good to know.” I glared down the table at my mother.
Okay, so in reality, I didn’t react that way at all. I do dislike the word, but my kids haven’t used it since anyway. In truth, one of my parents, most likely my father, did teach them the word “butt” instead of “bottom,” but that’s not the END (wink wink) of the world. Hey, before you roll your eyes too much, remember that I’m raising little ladies here, not boys. My girls don’t even know the word “fart” yet, thank you very much!
And, no, “five black ants” was not really one of the items in the scavenger hunt. Although I wouldn’t put it past my sadistic mother.
Kidding again! Love you, Mom!