Monday, March 19, 2012

Movies and Language

Okay.  I know.  Among my friends, I am among the most old-fashioned, conservative, almost prudish in terms of parenting.  No DVD just to run to Publix, we listen to Mommy's music unless I want to listen to your music (which I do plenty of, don't worry), no playing outside unsupervised, even if "the big kids are there," no jumping on trampolines when we don't have health insurance at the moment, no sass mouths, no juice boxes, etc. etc.

Sigh. Yes, you read that right, no juice boxes.  We have straw-top sippy cups.  Still age-appropriate, but not nearly as wasteful.  That's not to say we never have juice boxes, but as a matter of something to drink when we're playing at home/outside/where we can bring our own stuff, we bring straw sippy cups.  Mostly spill-proof, thermal, and not that I've hugged a tree lately, but more environmentally friendly.

Anyway.  I have long said, and over the past five years worked really hard to make it true, that I won't let the TV babysit my kids.  As they get older, though, that's not to say that I don't let them sit together and watch TV.  But if I'm, say, sitting in my office typing a blog post, unless they're actively watching something specific (Curious George or Thomas, for example), then the TV is either off or tuned to one of those Sirius music stations. 

Yesterday the kids were both exhausted from a busy weekend, and WHM was running a fever. (Yes, for those of you that follow along, again.  He's been healthy one whole week since Christmas, I think.)  To get WHM to try to nap, I made my bedroom super dark, put on the TV, and let them snuggle in -- a big deal to snuggle in Mommy and Daddy's bed -- to a movie.

Now, shame on me, because I let them watch a movie I've never seen, but we picked ANTZ as the movie to watch.  (On Demand.)  I watched about the first ten minutes with them, and then when they were snuggled and content, I quietly left to go downstairs -- in hopes that WHM would fall asleep, and to get something (anything!) done around the house.

A little while later, I went back upstairs to check on them, and they were both still watching.  But what did I catch as my little sound-bite? 

One ant talking to another saying, "This tastes like crap."  "Oh, it is crap." 

Um, hello?  
Not cool.  

It actually was supposed to be funny, but it would have been so much more appropriate had they said, "poop," and maybe I wouldn't be on this tirade.

Do I say the word "crap"?  Sure I do.  I really only adopted it in the past few years, because it's just become so prevalent that it has become part of my vocabulary in the same way we emulate whatever else we hear, I suppose.  But I was raised where CRAP was not an acceptable word.  Neither was sucks, for that matter, or blows, or shut-up, or any of the other four-letter words I now use far too regularly. 

What happened to the world, that this is okay?  Last night Mick and I were watching the news, and to illustrate the pollen overload our area's currently experiencing, the weatherman showed some photos some viewers had submitted.  One of them showed "THIS SUCKS" written in the pollen on the side of a car, a la the old "wash me" notes you see on dirty trucks.  Really?  REALLY? Are there no standards anymore?  (When I was teaching and a kid said that, I would joke that "sucks" described adult behavior that wasn't really part of quadratic equations, and remind the kids they were old enough to have a more intelligent vocabulary.  It was light and not preachy, it was quick, and the kids got the point.)

I don't care if I'm a crotchety old prude.  I don't pretend to be a saint, either.  I don't smoke, but I certainly will drink, and I swear, and Lord knows I'm surely not always nice.  But I am trying my darndest to raise my kids right, and to see "crap" as part of a kids' show, or to see "this sucks" as part of the nightly news really, really bothers me.

So tell me -- I can take it --  Am I alone? 



  1. Not alone! I also was raised in a house where we couldn't say "sucks" or "hate" (We always had to say "stinks" or "strongly dislike") or a lot of other things that apparently are very popular in children's programming these days. I've noticed we can't really even watch a regular (non sexual, non violent, non cursing) tv show that has adults in it because they will still use language we don't use around our house - plus a lot of kids movies. Have you noticed in Toy Story they call each other stupid among other things?

    We don't really do any sugary snacks here (Stella had her first cookie at 18 months and D had his first day with more than one piece of candy and only 3rd in his life when he was almost 3 and it was Halloween) and I'm always close-by when the kids play outside.

    Definitely not perfect around these parts, but we try our best. It seems no matter what, though, that kind of *crappy* language is everywhere and I strongly dislike it too.

    1. I am so glad to hear this. And yes, we noticed the Toy Story "stupid" comments and just talked about how that's not very nice. I don't claim to be perfect and I know sometimes when I write these posts I sound awfully preachy (not my intent, but sometimes I go back and read and cringe).

      But it's just like you said -- we are not perfect, but we try our best, and it's so frustrating to us when we feel like are the only ones. (That's not fair. I am sure everyone tries their hardest. We just are more conservative, and more strict, and that's tough sometimes!)

      Even other 4-year-olds toss around "crap" and "sucks" like they're saying "hello."

      Hang in there. We have each other!