Thursday, November 1, 2007

those words are on the SAT, right?

My previously angelic (at school) kindergartener came home today with a note from his teacher. The librarian had to "speak to" Ezra about his use of "inappropriate language."

Even though I had hoped that Ezra would loosen up enough to misbehave every once in a while, and even though I had hoped he would finally break through his shyness and be so engaged with a classmate that the conversation just couldn't stop even after the teacher had warned them twice about whispering, I got a little panicky.

The following questions screamed through my head simultaneously:

What has happened to my son? Is he turning into a derelict? Is his diet of three baby carrots a day causing him to lose all sense of judgment? Is peer pressure getting the better of him? Do I need to bring him to a doctor? If yes, what doctor would that be? Is he never going to get into Harvard?

And then this: What was the "inappropriate language"?

I asked him what it was that he had said in the library, but he wouldn't tell me.

"I don't remember," he said, looking at the ground.

"Was it a bathroom word?"


"Was it a body word?"


"Well, what was it, Ezra? I'm not mad at you, really. Everyone gets into trouble every once in a while. I just need to know so we can talk about why it wasn't okay to say it in the library."

"I told you, I don't remember."

"Is it a word we use sometimes at home?"

"No, it was a new word. It was a long word. Justin said it and then I said it and then he told me it was a bad word."

"Well, what does it mean?"

"I don't know."

Clitoris? I'm thinking. Fellatio?

I switched tacks for a minute, because even in my infinite insanity I recognized that this wasn't the most productive line of questioning.

"What happened when the librarian talked to you?"

"She put me in a time out. And I'm not allowed to take out a book from the library until next time."

He was on the verge of tears at that point, and I think that, not to blame the victim or anything, part of what upset me so much about the teacher's note was that there was no mischievous joy about the incident--even before I started peppering him with questions. It seemed like his own sense of his behavior was that he was doing something not playful but ugly.

Still, I was dying to know what he had said.

"Was it 'shit,' Ezra? Was it 'fuck'?"

"No, Mommy," he said, rolling his eyes, exasperated. "I already told you, it wasn't a word we use at home."


Erin said...

What was it?? I'm dyin' over here!

Story said...

AHAHAHAHAHHAHAH I can't help but crack up!! Our curiousity kills us doesnt it? And the way this story has been retold it makes it sound like the teacher things Ezra is a little drunken sailor saying all kinds of delicious words lol

family-of-five said...

oh my god, you killed me with that last line. we are a pair, you and me.