Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Damn. Damn. Damn."

On Tuesday, we were told that our six-year-old son Jalen had used some inappropriate language at school. I was torn on whether or not to post a transcript of the note that came home with him yesterday. You might not believe me after reading the first XXXIII parts of my desert travel diary, but there ARE a few family matters I don't blog about. That said, I sat on this note for 24 hours and I'm about to burst. Here it is.

Dear [Jalen's Parents]...

I am sad to say that the lunch time teacher is having a hard time getting Jalen to listen to her. He is saying "damn it" a lot or "damn". Jalen says he was in a race in the sand box to dig the deepest hole. But, whatever, he would not refrain from these words.

I told him later to use words such as "I am very frustrated..." or "I am really angry..." (at not digging the deepest hole) -- but, choose more intelligent [words] to describe his feelings.

Thank you,

[Jalen's Teacher]

PS: Maybe Jalen is too tired -- he says sometimes he doesn't sleep well!

And, we're back.

Obviously the "a lot" part caught my eye. Was the school planning to wait until Jalen busted out
Hit 'Em Up on the playground before calling me and Mrs. Bootleg in? When I asked Jalen about this, he replied: I didn't say it 'a lot'. I only said it twice!" Well, then.

The syntax of the note is all over the place. I read that "...he would not refrain from these words" line 50 times before I threw in the towel and moved on to the next sentence. I'm assuming there were some words inadvertently omitted after "whatever". This is still bugging me.

Finally...I assure y'all...Jalen sleeps well. From the first time he slept through the night, he's slept well. Mrs. Bootleg -- who chose to work part-time solely for the midday naps and has been known to spend more than 50% of her 48-72 weekend hours asleep -- is in awe of Jalen's slumber skillz.

So, Jalen wrote notes of apology to his teachers and promised not to emulate his old man's casual profanity. I suppose I should promise to watch my own mouth when traffic or work or yet another Rajai Davis brain cramp on the basepaths moves me to blue language.

Damn it, Jalen.


SHough610 said...

Unquestionably what I'd imagine is the worst part of being a parent. At this point I've given up on trying to pretend I don't swear around anyone except my grandparents (Grandma even gets the "no taking the lords name in vain" exception).

But kids? I can't drop the 'F' bomb? Or the 'S' bomb? Or the (very) occasional 'C' bomb? How do I watch sports? I root for Philadelphia teams! I know I'm going to need those words.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Yeah, the sports-watching aspect is...going to be tough. "Dammit" is my go-to, catch-all casual swear. I don't use any of the other ones and "damn" really doesn't have a "clean" substitute.

Darn? Dang? D'oh?


CrazyCanuck said...

I go with dang myself. But then again, I don't care how uncool it sounds, or how uncool that makes me.

Tom said...

I'm picturing Jalen dropping a Farooq/Ron Simmons "Damn" on his teacher and I'm giggling uncontrollably.

Mrs. Nicka said...

Why do I think we will be getting a similar (or worse) note home from daycare long before Maria is Jalen's age??

thatnicka said...

I can't refrain from saying "get the f*** out!!!" for any flyball hit past the infield while watching the Yankees. It's not looking good.

Elena said...

I think you need to send that letter back with corrections in red ink, and cc the Principal. I mean, in the last paragraph, it sounds like the teacher tried to give Jalen other things to say, then told him to use more intelligent words than the ones he was just given.

I just... I can't... GAH. You are a TEACHER. This is NOT HARD. YOU MUST DO BETTER.

[deep cleansing breath]
[and again]

I'm fighting so hard to avoid making a Leno-esque comment about the only inappropriate language being the teacher's. So, so hard.

that mexican guy said...

This post becomes 100x more brilliant when - like me - you read the travel diary post immediately after (sorry Cam, but I'm playing catch up with the blog). You drop two or three casuals "dammits" in that post.

(Also it would be a lot worse if Jalen copied the way you weep after an A's loss. Much worse than bad words.)