September 30, 2015 | 1 comment | Humor, Kid Time, Me Time, Parenting Advice

Hearing the F-word on the bus

The first several weeks of kindergarten have passed uneventfully for my five-year-old son. Considering all that I’ve done to get him ready for full-day school, I’m very thankful.

My husband and I were nervous about him riding the bus. I’m sure every parent of a kindergartener goes through this. We protect our children from harm in every form. We check the registered sex offender websites when we move into new neighborhoods, we teach our children about how to cross the street, we cut their grapes in half to prevent choking, and we vaccinate them from disease. But when an unknown sixty-year-old man with a Steelers cap stops his mini-bus on our street early one September morning, looking at a clipboard and saying our last name, we kiss our son on the cheek and gently guide (push) him up the steps, entrusting him into this stranger’s care. Obviously, we were all entitled to a few moments of worry. But he managed to cope with getting onto a bus with kids and a driver that he didn’t know.

There was the added stress of what to call our bus driver. His name is Ed. Mr. Ed seemed like a ridiculous name to call him. All I could envision was the damn talking horse from the black and white television program from the sixties. So, I coined him, “Bus Drive Ed” for my son. What a mouth full.

My parents were also concerned about my son riding the bus. But about something else entirely. “He’s going to hear that f- word on the bus,” my mother complained. “Can’t you just drive him one more year?”

“I’m pretty sure that he’s heard the f- word in my house,” I retorted. No, not from me. My language isn’t exemplary in some audiences, I’ll admit, although I don’t curse in front of them (I have one of those internal switches). By listening to Pandora’s Adult Hits Radio, which is playing in the background in my kitchen during most daylight hours, my children have learned two curse words. Yes, I’m blaming rock star Pink’s Blow Me (One Last Kiss), wherein she laments about having a shit day, and her ballad Fuckin’ Perfect for shattering my children’s swearing innocence. I’ve heard both my five-year-old and my three-year-old singing along with (fuckin’) perfect punctuation to these lyrics.

Upon further consideration, maybe I should be the one to teach my child the basics about swearing, in a proactive manner. Like how parents have the birds and bees discussion. I’d rather it be from my mouth, than from some sweaty seventh grader that didn’t have a clue about sex. Similarly, I certainly curse better than the parochial alter boys on my son’s bus. Since I’m the expert, I should have a talk with him about it. I bet Pink’s little tyke knows how and when to curse like a sailor.

But not right now. I think writing the word “God” on his religion worksheets rightfully is and should be his priority, without teaching him words that he can’t speak in front of his parents, sister, teachers, friends, or grandparents.

At least Bus Driver Ed doesn’t have a baby strapped into a car seat in the front of the bus. A mommy friend told me that the progressive bus company for her school district has a liquid propane-fueled fleet and an extremely friendly working-parent policy. “At least, I know that the bus driver is motivated to be a safe driver,” she’d told me. “And, all the kids love the baby. It’s like a mascot for the bus.” I don’t know how I would feel about the bus driver’s baby on my son’s bus. I want to support working parents, for sure, but I think that I would frown upon it. I want the bus driver to be dedicating her attention to the roads, and to the school-aged children, not worrying about whether Junior throws his bottle on the floor, throws up in his seat, or hears the f- word.

In any event, my son’s going to hear the f- word in his tender years. Not riding the bus isn’t going to prevent the inevitable.

So far, no (new) swear words have come out of his mouth. When I ask my kids at snack time what their favorite thing of the day is, my son responded for the first two weeks of school, “riding the bus.”

The most interesting moment into the current school year happened the day before the first day of school, at kindergarten orientation. My three-year-old daughter was also with us. After the teacher talked to us, we found my son’s desk (in the front row – awesome – without even asking the teacher for that – maybe his preschool teacher from last year warned this year’s teacher – not going to over-analyze what she might have said). One of my son’s friends from last year came up to the three of us.

“Hey, is that your sister?” he’d asked in amazement, as he eyed my three-year-old up and down. He didn’t wait for my son’s reply. “She’s gotten so… big.”

Oh no, I’d thought. It can’t be happening already. I’d naively assumed that these sorts of comments would only come from my son’s friends once my daughter turns thirteen and sprouts breasts. I didn’t expect a six-year-old boy to check out my poor, innocent baby girl.

Later that day, I explained it to my son, with images of Sonny from the Godfather beating the shit out of Connie’s abusive husband going through my mind. “You have to always watch out for your sister, you know. When other kids talk about her, you protect her. Even if it’s one of your friends. You say, ‘hey, that’s my sister, be nice.’”

“Mommy, Josh was just including her. You always tell me to include her with my friends.”

“You’re right, honey. He was just being friendly with her.”

I guess I have another few years before I go all fucking Sonny Corleone on these little punks.


Hope you enjoyed this latest in the funny mommy blog series!

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1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth Beanner

    September 30, 2015 3:28 pm

    Hilarious Carissa!

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