Why Science is Bad for Children

“Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT.”

That was my 3rd grader, friends, this morning at the front door, prostrate on the threadbare entry rug that desperately needs replacing but won’t get it anytime soon.

“Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT.”

That was my 3rd grader after the dogs, bless their hearts, knocked him into the wall while rushing past him playing their usual morning games of Bark, Bark, Growl and Bite, Bite, Chase.

“Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT, SHIT.”

That was my 3rd grader this morning, face down, rocking slightly, and expressing the heck out of himself, which we tend to encourage at our house, but I am a GOOD mama and a CHRISTIAN, damn it, so I told him to “knock it off, man” and, “we do not talk like that around here,” which was a lie, but also, “there’s no reason for language like that,” which I figured was true and therefore canceled the lying portion of my response.

“But I am HURT,” he said, and followed that with, “SHIT, MOM,” for emphasis, and also because he’s a punk.

“Still,” I said with Stern Face, “that’s no excuse.” And for once he didn’t say, “But you say it, Mom,” or, “But I learned it from watching you!”

Nope. He didn’t say any of those things.

Instead, he rolled over, looked me in the eye, and said, “SCIENCE, Mom. This is called SCIENCE. It has been scientifically proven that swearing helps with pain. SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN. Watch, Mom. Watch this. … … SHiiiiiiiiiiiiT! … … ” and then he sighed with satisfaction and grinned. “You know what, Mom? You know what? I feel totally better. I am HEALED because of SCIENCE.”

And he popped up off that floor and strolled away, every ounce of his 9-year-old body shaking with laughter.

In conclusion, my child is a butt.

Also, science should be banned.

Sincerely yours,

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
16 comments
  1. […] I have one kid who just slammed his toes on the leg of the couch, jumping on one foot and yelling, “FUCK. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck,” because of science. […]

  2. I like this. That is all. =)

  3. This post (as they all do) totally killed it for me! You have such a way of finding just the right times I need to hear that it’s okay my 2 year old, who refuses to say I love you, spills a bucket of toys and mumbles a very clear SHIT under his breath. Thanks Momadre

  4. 1) To be honest, when I hear people swear–particularly when I hear them swear with fluency and creativity–that’s how I know they’re my people. Why should I deny that to my child?

    2) When my daughter Leigh was in a toxic, raging mood not long ago, my wife had either a) an epic inspiration or b) a complete collapse of standards when she gave Leigh one minute to say any swear words she liked if it would help her get out of her mood. With a grin of wicked delight, Leigh let loose. She apparently doesn’t know too many really bad words. Also, it worked. #parentoftheyear

    3)Your 3rd grader happens to be right: http://www.utne.com/science-and-technology/swearing-is-good-for-you.aspx

  5. My 2 year old (almost 3, OK?!) is a bigger butt. I thought of you yesterday when this conversation happened:
    Him: Mama, I’m so glad you are driving the car. (Yes, he really talks in way-too-big sentences for his age).
    Me: Right baby? Because I’m a much better driver than your dad?
    Him, spoken solemnly: Yes. Dad said F*ck.ing. (Spoken crystal clear but with a pause like it is two words).
    Me: Dad said that when he was driving?
    Him: Yes. Dad said F*ck.ing.
    Me: OK, baby, dad is in trouble but please stop saying that word.
    Him, confused: I didn’t say F*ck.ing. Dad said F*ck.ing.
    Me, calmly: Baby, you just said it twice. Please stop saying that word.
    Him, outraged: I didn’t say F*ck.ing! Dad said F*ck.ing! DAD said F*ck.ing!
    Me, on the tip of my tongue: Are you f*cking with me?!
    And then I calmly dropped the issue and turned up the volume on Curious George.

  6. My precious 3 year old wasn’t feeling well and when my (very religious) parents asked her what was wrong, she very pathetically told them, “I feel like Shiiiiiiit.” She must be some kind of savant to have such a good understanding of science at her age, because by the time I got there, she was feeling fine. 🙂

  7. ROFLOL!! Well handled, with grace and humor, Mama. <3

  8. That is what you get for letting your kids watch educational tv like thrusters. 🙂

  9. “Shit, Mom!” Why is this so funny to me?!?

    Your kids are so fortunate to have your great sense of humor granting them grace. At our house, we sometimes scold first and only realize later it was actually funny. Working on that.

  10. HA!! I dig your little people:)

  11. I read cursing reduces stress. Seems to work for me. So could be he is correct.

  12. I’d like to see his citations. (I swear like a drunk sailor so…_

    1. Wikipedia has the info and links to the original research. The boys saw it on “Mythbusters” so I blame Discovery Channel.

  13. This post made my whole day AND made me laugh super hard. I’m going to start using his science excuse when my mother yells at me for my mouth.

    1. Please tell your mother “you’re welcome” from me. 😉

  14. NOW I understand why I got the science award in HS many many MANY moons ago. Thank you for that. 🙂

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