May 1, 2012

Potty Mouth, Katy Perry

TheMonk is in his usual spot on the couch. It’s the spot that has a power strip hanging over the side that he has his iPod plugged into. The iPod, on this day, is plugged into travel speakers and he listens to his music while singing along.

TheMonk mimics his current favorite, Carrie Underwood’s Jesus Take the Wheel, perfectly hitting the high notes with his young, prepubescent voice. I am not paying too close attention as he sings but I am aware that he is, as ever, ensconced in the music.

I vaguely sense that the song has changed and before a few moments have passed, I recognize Katy Perry’s voice singing on the iPod. TheMonk and I make eye contact and he looks at me with the seriousness of a straight and narrow six-year-old and says, “Daddy. Katy Perry says a bad word in this song.”

Immediately my mind races to the catalog of Katy Perry songs that I have indexed in my brain. Last Friday Night jumps to the front and I begin to race through the lyrics in my head looking for the bad word that that hussy Katy Perry surely uttered.

But TheMonk beat me to it. “She says, Daddy, SHUT UP.”

The seriousness and somber tone that TheMonk delivers this sad news is difficult to replicate in the written word but suffice it to say that we had to pause for a moment of reflection and silence. When I make eye contact again I realize that the boy is expecting me to say something.

“Oh, right. ‘Shut up’ is very rude to say, isn’t it?” I ask, hoping that the reverent tone in my voice adequately matches the expectations of TheMonk. It seems to as he solemnly nods and turns back to his music. By this time, the music has changed again.

Ah, Taylor Swift, where have you been?


  1. I love this post! I tend to use “shut up” ala Elaine on Seinfeld. “You lost your first tooth??!!! Shut UP!!” I am always reminded, by my little next door neighbors…”Miss Kathy, that’s a BAD word!” lol

    Comment by Kathygee1 — May 2, 2012 @ 8:27 am

  2. My 7-yr-old daughter and I had a similar conversation just last week. It seems a friend of hers used a very bad word. She called someone an IDIOT. For shame! We talked about how it’s not nice to call people names, and she was right – it was a bad word. I figure the longer I can keep these out of her vocabulary, the better, right?

    Now…to keep my trucker mouth quiet when she’s in listening distance… :)

    Comment by Val — May 2, 2012 @ 9:41 am

  3. Took me way back to my childhood when butt and fart were bad words in our family. We substituted “rear” or “rear end” and “pooter” or “froggy”. Still kind of bothers me to hear a 4 yr old say “fart”. Glad to see the tradition continues.

    Comment by Aunt Raina — May 6, 2012 @ 8:35 am

  4. When my school transitioned from being an upper elementary to a school that included kindergarten, I quickly learned that when a kid got tattled on for saying the “s” word, it meant stupid. Eye opening for someone used to dealing with the s word sometimes used by older kids.

    Comment by Amy — May 21, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

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