My stepbrother texted me last night to let me know that he’d sent Alexander a text saying “keep it clean”. I was out buying the perfect silk blouse so I couldn’t exactly be bothered with parenting at the time.
When I got home I asked Alexander for his cell phone. He looked sheepish handing it to me and we went through the text messages together. Most of the text messages were fine, funny even. There were links to chicken butt pictures.
There was also a WTF. Potty mouth… I wonder where my child would pick that up?
I sat down with my boy to talk to him about media use. I reminded him that Daddy and I would always be checking his texts, computer and emails. I told him that anything you write is public and you should want it so that even your mom could read it. Blah blah blah it was the same talk I’ve been giving Jane for years. Even I was bored listening to me.
I asked Alexander if he knew what WTF meant. He nodded his head and looked embarrassed. I told him that I knew it was funny and that it was a word I’d like him to not use but that I know everyone slips up. I also told him to NEVER write it so that people wouldn’t think he was a bad kid.
Take my advice, son, I won’t be needing it.
Then I asked him about the picture. Why would you send that to your cousin?
“Because it’s an ugly guy.” He said.
Is there anything else about it that’s bad? I asked him this in a thousand different ways. Finally I pointed to the chin. Is there anything about his chin that is bad?
“It’s long.” He said, and looked genuinely curious.
I didn’t punish him. I’m out of the business of punishment, being embarrassed with your mom is lesson enough.
Later in the evening I showed Mr G the image. “He sent this to his cousin.” I said. Mr G shrugged nonchalantly.
Apparently I’m the only one in the house able to identify a scrotum.