The other day, Little Man didn’t stop playing his Xbox after I told him to twice. When I went back in his room, I cut off the system and picked up both controllers. Since his TV doesn’t have cable or anything, he can’t do anything without his Xbox. And no Xbox controllers means no anything on the TV.
Right after I picked up the controllers to walk out, LM said, “Dude, are you freaking kidding me?”
“Dude, are you being serious right now, taking my controllers? Come on, man!”
I must have been staring at him like he was an alien. This is my first-grader, who has just turned 7–so why on earth is he talking like, I don’t know, a moody teenage surfer?
Before I could say anything else, he spoke again. “Please don’t take my controllers, Mommy. Give me one more chance, puh-leeeeeeeze!”
That was more like it.
“First, no, you’re not getting another chance. I told you twice to turn off the Xbox and you didn’t, so no more Xbox for today. Second, I’m not your ‘dude’ and I don’t want to hear ‘Dude, are you freaking kidding me again,’ got it? That’s extremely disrespectful.”
He nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”
“Where did you get that from anyway?” I asked, certain that the unlimited access to Nickelodeon he gets at his grandparents was the culprit.
“Well, that’s what you say all the time,” LM responded.
“What? No I don’t.”
“Yeah, you do, especially in the car, when other drivers are messing up all the time.”
I thought about it. He was right. I do talk like a moody teenage surfer boy when I’m driving. I suppose I should be grateful that I censored myself enough to use “freaking.”
“Yeah, well, Mommy shouldn’t use that kind of language. Even if the other drivers are messing up. So you don’t either, okay?”
He nodded. “Okay. But what if someone messes up really super bad, can I say ‘Are you freaking kidding me’ then? Because my teacher really messed up the other day when she told us that all poems rhyme.”
“No, don’t say that, especially to your teacher!”
Another nod. “Hey, Mommy?”
“Yeah?” I held my breath…what would it be this time?
“Can you read me a book?” LM asked.