Monday, January 26, 2015

Playdoh, Farts, and the S Word

I received a phone call last month from an administrator at my son's school.  (I'm just getting around to writing about it, because cancer.)  My son used the 'S' word. At school. No, not that s-word.  My son said the word S-E-X. Three times. During school hours and on school property, no less.  The earth did not open beneath him, and there were no lightning bolts of divine retribution.  In fact, the only way that the school learned of this particular infraction was because one of Zane's classmates went home and told his/her parent.  

That's totally understandable, that a child would speak to their parents about the things that go on at school.  My son tells me many interesting things about the students in his class and what they say, and I nod and smile and we move on.  I don't even blink anymore.  They're seven, after all. We discuss the appropriateness of these topics briefly, just enough to get the point across, and we move on.  Other parents do not have my casual response to such events, and Catholic schools tend to err on the side of crazy when they get these letters.

And I got a phone call. 

It wasn't a horrible phone call, as phone calls go.  Zane didn't even rate the actual principal, which would have been a big deal.  No, we got the assistant principal on the phone, who got right to the point. While the assistant principal is speaking, my brain is turning over every possible place that Zane might have heard the word 'sex' enough that it made an impression.  If the school had called and told me that Zane was discussing lopping the heads off of Orcs, I wouldn't have batted an eye. I know exactly where that stuff comes from! But we don't watch shows with sex in them, not as a family.  The raciest show we watch is The Big Bang Theory, fer cryin' out loud!  Where did he hear that word?

Zane did admit to the assistant principal that he used the word; he said that it was an adult word that he wasn't supposed to use at school.  He indicated to the assistant principal that he would not ever use the word at school again.

Case closed.

Except then the AP mentioned that they sent my son to talk to the school counselor/athletic director about the whole episode.  The counselor had Zane play while they discussed his use of the word 'sex', I guess to make sure that he hadn't been traumatized or something.  The counselor gave Zane Play-doh.  Play-doh is an excellent tool for play therapy in counseling; you do not give Play-doh to a child with whom you would like to actually converse.  My conversation with Zane that afternoon, as a result, went something like this:

Me: "So...what did you talk to the counselor about this afternoon?"

Zane: "Nothing. *giggles* Did you know that Play-doh makes a farting noise when you smash it? Oh, and I'm not supposed to say 'fart' at school."

Me:  "..."

Needless to say, Zane felt that the entire episode was fun and entertaining.  He thought that he might like to "talk" some more to the counselor. About the Play-doh, and possibly farts.

He'd already moved on.


  1. Did they at least give you some context for how the word was used? I know that might not be the crux of the matter,but come on! While play-doh probably does make good farts, do you remember the ones you could get from a container of slime?!?!?!/

  2. Gee whiz, I wonder how they get the gender of students on forms. I got flagged by a computer program at work when closing a worksheet on genetics. The first word was sex as in genetics worksheet in progress. Its good they are alert at Zane's school but it goes to show how logic is not always the same as a gut feeling. My favorite story was a principal going to go off a kid for using the b word. She had the presence of mind to ask the child reporting to tell her what the b word was. He said baby. oops.

  3. Hilarious, and only the beginning of all the fun! My son wrote about snipers in freshman year of high school. Why the hell? I have know idea except he said it was the story he came up with. Didn't mean anything by it, sort of a vigilante type thing. Nonetheless, we scored "the call" too.

  4. While this isn't quite the same, my daughter blabbed at a kindergarten birthday party that there was no Santa Claus (something I didn't even know SHE knew), and several kids told their moms about it. I seriously thought a few of the moms were going to create a lynch mob over it.


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