A couple of weeks ago, Biscuit was brushing his teeth in mine and Jeff's bathroom. He rinsed out his mouth and paused for a minute.
Then he said, "Guys, I'm just going to tell you the truth about this ... We were out on the playground, and I heard someone say 'What the hell.' Now, I don't know what that means, but it just doesn't sound like something I should say."
I looked at Jeff, and he looked at me. I think we both hate these kinds of things because your initial reaction is just as important as what you say to him about it.
So I took a deep breath and said, "Well, you're right. It's not something you should say. 'Hell' is a bad word."
A few months ago, Biscuit started saying "What the ..." He would say it when you'd normally say, "What the heck?"
Like one night when Biscuit was playing with E. Coli and a couple of knights in armor. One of the knights was holding a lance. The knight lunged forward, and his lance knocked off E. coli's face.
Biscuit held up E. coli and said, "What the ..."
I told Biscuit to stop saying that, but I never explained why he shouldn't said it. So when Biscuit repeated what he had heard on the playground, I figured I should set him straight.
"You remember when you started saying, 'What the ...' and I told you not to say it?" I asked him.
"Yes," he said.
"Well, the reason I told you to stop saying it is that when you say, 'What the ...' people assume the next word is going to be 'hell'" I explained to him.
Biscuit looked up at me, and his eyes got real big. "Oh," was all he said.
Then he thought about it for a minute and said, "I won't say that anymore, Mom, because I don't want people to think that's what I'm going to say next."
And before I could respond, he ran to the front door to get his shoes on to go to school.
So far, the conversations that I've worried the most about seem to have gone really well. But I don't even want to think about the ones to come.