The “S” Word

I really, really hate the “s” word. (I hate the word “hate” too, but not nearly as much as the “s” word.) I am so sick of hearing my kids use the “s” word.
“Gaku, you’re s_____.”
“Hana, you’re s_____.”
“Mommy, you’re s_____.”
“S______ Mommy.”
I hear it ALL DAY LONG. I am working on trying to stop the “mean talk”. So, the dreaded “s” word is… STUPID!! What a “stupid” word!! I have really been campaigning with my kids to stop using this word, so I was completely infuriated tonight when I heard it from an unexpected source.

My mom and I highly disagree about the necessity of outerwear in the winter when running out somewhere, like to a restaurant. My mom wants the kids to completely bundle up in coats, mittens, hats and everything. I just don’t think it’s necessary. They are just going from the house to the car to the restaurant and then back again. They are going to be outside for about 60 seconds max. They are not going to get frostbite or suffer from hypothermia or any other ill effects from the cold in that time period, not in Michigan anyway. Now, if they are going to be outside for any longer length of time, or we are going somewhere where we may have to park further away, that’s another story. But what is the point of bundling them up so they can go sit in a warm car? They are not really going to BE outside. They are just running through ‘outside’ for a minute or two.

So tonight, we were getting ready to go out to a restaurant for dinner. The car was already warm from me running errands. I had Tsubaki in her car seat. One kid had on boots, the other didn’t. Neither of them had on coats. 
Mom: Hurry up! You have to get your winter coats on.
Me: Well, you don’t really need your coats, unless you want them.
Mom: What!! They need their coats on.
Me: No, they don’t really need them. They’re just running to the car and then into the restaurant.
Mom: Do you know how cold it is out there?
Me: Yes. It’s 16 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit, about -9 degrees Celsius).
Mom: I think you’re stupid! (in a quite aggressive tone of voice)
Me: (sooooooo pissed off, but trying to keep a calm demeanor in front of the kids) I do not like that word. I wish you would not use that word in front of my kids. I am trying to get them to stop using that word all the time.
Mom: Well, maybe you should tell your husband that. The kids were saying that to each other all day long.

At this point, I was feeling even more pissed off. What does that have to do with anything? So the kids were calling each other stupid all day… what does that have to do with her calling me stupid? Is she five? Seriously!?! You do not attack a person because you disagree with their opinion. This was one of my take-a-couple-of-deep-breaths-and-let-it-go moments. Actually, as we were rushing out the door, it was one deep breath and a “whatever!” said internally.

Right now, I would really like to strike the word “stupid” out of the dictionary. But I suppose there would be another word to take the “s” word’s place. I am just trying to make an effort not to use this particular “s” word myself, and to stop my children from using it either… especially in the context of “mean talk” directed at another person. It’s a constant struggle.


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