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Soap, anyone?!

>> Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm a rule-follower.  I always have been.  I'm an oldest child and while I can be stubborn, I typically don't challenge rules that make sense.  If they don't make sense and/or the consequences aren't bad, then I will consider breaking the rules.  But I always carefully evaluate the consequences of breaking the rules first.

On that note, my oldest child is NOT a rule-follower.  He is only 3 1/2, but he constantly questions authority and tries to push his bounds.  I realize that this is not abnormal, but it definitely isn't something I was prepared for as a mom.

Case-in-point: bad words.  Somewhere, somehow, Tyler heard someone saying something that is not appropriate for a 3 year old to repeat.  For the past month, we have been dealing with trying to get him to stop saying, "Oh, dan".  He uses it in the correct context of how the phrase is typically used, but obviously mispronounces it just slightly.  But close enough that anyone walking past us in a store would hear it differently.

This battle started about a month ago.  I'm not sure exactly where he picked it up as neither my husband or I use that kind of language normally, let alone around the kids.  We've been pretty careful about the types of TV that we watch when the kids are around, so I don't think he picked it up there.  He obviously heard it somewhere, though.

The first time I heard him say it, I did a double-take and asked him to repeat it and then gave him a 30-second lecture about how we don't use "bad words."  I figured he would forget about it and move on and maybe have to re-address it when he turned 10.  But no, he is a boundary pusher!  He said it on the way to my husband's softball game a few weeks ago, and after several warnings and him repeating it several times, we made him stay in the car for about 45 minutes when we got there as a punishment (I was in there most of the time with him, but then within hearing/sight range when I got out).  That definitely got his attention as one of his favorite things is to watch and play sports.

But was it enough?  Of course not.  Last week, he said it again several times, so I ended up washing his mouth out with soap.  But I really wasn't prepared for it.  I had never gotten my mouth washed out as a child, so really didn't know how to administer this type of punishment.  Poor kid.  I took him to our bathroom and pumped a squirt of "Cucumber Melon" liquid hand soap into my palm, lathered up and put it on his tongue.  He spit and he gagged and said it was yucky.  We went along with our day and he kept saying to me, "Mom, we don't say bad words."

But was that enough?  Of course not.  Since then, I found a bar of soap that I had taken from a hotel years ago and stuck in our overnight bag.  He has tried that soap twice already and I'm sure another soap session is coming soon.  He was playing with his brother yesterday while I was doing some cleaning, and I heard him saying, "Ryan, say bad words."  Ryan is almost 2 and didn't understand and just kept repeating, "bad words". Tyler kept prompting him, but he didn't say the "Oh, dan" phrase again, so he was spared this time.

Evidently I need to get some worse tasting soap.

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