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Gag orders, gossip and toking

Being a parent can sometimes feel like you’re living under a gag order.

These days, it feels like I can never say what I want to say. Because someone is always listening. Even when I think he shouldn’t be. Like when he’s engrossed in a TV show or video game or playing in the next room.


Gossip by Exquisitur

But just as sure as I start talking about something adult — or someone — little Mr. Nosy with the supersonic hearing is right in the middle of the conversation.

“What did you say?”

“Who are you talking about?”

“Just tell me.”

My husband and I are finding it more and more difficult to have any adult conversations these days out of fear that what we say will be repeated in front of the wrong people, in the wrong context. Or that something Jackson overhears will be too intense for his 5-year-old sensibilities. (This happened quite recently when my husband told me that his mother had been picked as a juror on a murder trial. Someone heard something he shouldn’t, and that sparked a whole line of questioning that persisted for days.)

We have been blessed with a child with a vocabulary beyond his years, and it seems that no matter what we do to cloak our conversations, he ALWAYS understands what we’re talking about. Or at least he understands enough to make trouble.

Thankfully, our son is now old enough to know that he shouldn’t repeat the really “dirty” words he hears — and unfortunately, he does hear them. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ever any inappropriate recitations. Just today, we were playing in the yard and Jackson broke into a cheer. We’d practiced it a few days earlier, “I say, ‘Go,’ you say, ‘Heels.’ Go. Heels.”

But apparently he thought it would be funnier to change the words.

“I say, ‘sanitary,’ you say, “napkin.’ Sanitary. Napkin.”

“I say, ‘tam,’  you say, ‘pon.’ Tampon.”

What will the neighbors think?

But that’s not the worst of it. Jackson has a new favorite song, and I’m to blame.

I happened to share this funny YouTube clip of an old Lawrence Welk performance with my husband, never thinking that the kid was paying attention.

But he was. He serenaded me with “One Toke Over the Line” tonight as we drove home from a birthday party.

I’m thinking of making a new Nine Inch Nails/Lil’ Jon/Divinyls/Snoop Dog/Lynyrd Skynyrd playlist for the morning preschool commute.

– Atta Girl Amy

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