Morgan hoped that they'd have children & they'd be really nice so maybe he could be friends with the children. As it turned out our neighbor's on both sides do have children, a teenager on one side & younger children on the other. Unfortunately, the children didn't hit it off as wonderfully as Morgan had hoped, & while he had some fun playing with them at first the whole thing quickly tired out.
During that time, however, our children learned some charming, & not so charming, new words. For instance, one day Morgan came in & said that the children had to go as they were off to visit their step siblings. With all seriousness & innocence Morgan looked up & said, "But I think he got it wrong. Don't you think he meant adopted?" And so we had to explain what step siblings & parents mean which led to many other tough questions.
One day while playing choice words were coming from our neighbors back yard & so I asked my own children to come in the house. Upon their arrival & my attempt at turning something, anything really, on to drowned out the language Jayden says to me, "Did you know that sometimes L says bad words?" "Really?" was my response acting as though I had no idea. "Yes, she does, but she said she never uses the worst word. What's the worst word that she could say?" I tried to play it cool.
I looked up confused, "What do you mean the worst word?"
"You know, a bad word!" at this point his curiosity was at full tilt.
"Are there bad words?"
"Yes, of course. Like," and here he lowers his voice, "shut-up. You said it's a bad words & we shouldn't say it."
"Daddy doesn't like it when we say dad-gum all the time."
"Well, I'm sure there are many other words you could say instead."
"Like beauty mate or fair dinkum or gobsmacked?"
"But those aren't bad words. I'd really like to know what a bad word is."
"If you knew what a bad word was though you might feel tempted to say it."
"I wouldn't. Hell is a bad word & I don't say that."
"Hell is not a bad word, it's just misused sometimes & then it sounds horribly rude."
"So it is a bad word."
"Well, it might be best not to say it."
"I knew it!"
"It's not a bad word Jayden."
"Then what is a bad word?"
"I don't think I'll share anything like that with you."
"Okay, I know a bad word."
"Tell it to me then."
"That is in impolite word I'd prefer you not to say."
"I know, but it's not the worst bad word. L said it started with an f."
"Did she?" at this point it's obvious he's not going to let go & my mind is whirling fast & going no where between the neighbor's nonsense & the exceedingly loud music I'm trying to drown them out with.
"If you tell me what that word is I will promise never to say it."
"No, I don't think that would be right. Sometimes we promise we won't do something, but when we are really upset we do it anyway. I think that might happen if you knew the word."
"Please Mom, I promise not to tell anyone, ever. Except maybe Morgan, but I wouldn't say it rudely."
I pause for a minute, mostly thinking, but sometimes if I pretend tot hink long enough they busy themselves with other things. He's not fooled.
"Okay, I'll tell you the worst word in the world, but you must never say it when you are angry! I don't think you should tell it to Morgan, I think you should tell Morgan to come here & I will say it to both of you & then we will never speak of this word again, okay?"
He runs of delighted & comes back. Morgan looks horrified, Jayden is gleeful. "Quick Morgan Mom's going to say the worst word in the world as long as we promise to never ever say it, at least not while we are angry!"
"Are you ready then?"
It's at this moment I realise my word must begin with an f because if it doesn't he'll realise I'm bluffing from the get-go & there's no way out of this big horrible mess I seem to be stuck in. So I say the first word that pops into my mind: "Fudge Ripple."
They stand there with big huge eyes their little mouths twitching because they can't decide if it's funny or not.
Jayden puts his hands on his hips & says, "What? That doesn't sound bad at all, it just sounds weird! Is it another language or something?"
I thank my lucky stars that my children have never had the free range of an American Freezer section in which they might have seen the words written in big bold type across many gallons of ice cream.
"Oh no it's not another language, it's a real word all right. Now remember you promised not to say it!"
Everything's been going well. Our neighbors choice words tend to happen now after our children are in bed. The children don't seem to communicate since I asked the little one next door to stop flinging chicken dung at my children. Life was going swimmingly in fact, & then one day Jayden comes out of the kitchen & says,
"You know Mom, I've been thinking about the rudest word in the world lately.."
"Well, if it's so rude how come every time I think of it I feel like laughing? If it's rude shouldn't it even sound bad?"
"Oh, I don't know about that."
"I do. I think if a word is really bad I would know because it wouldn't make me laugh."
Morgan walks in & says, "What are you guys talking about?"
And I, without a thought in the world, because I am now distracted by the Postie, to see if he has my package say, "Fudge Ripple."
Two gasps behind me, followed by some giggles. And then it happens..
Jayden races off & screams, "DADDY MOMMY SAID FUDGE RIPPLE!"
Daddy looks up & stares at us, "Are we having ice cream?"