No harm, no foul
Photo by weliton/StockXchange.com
My daughter Christa is a note-writer.
She knows not to talk to me when I'm on the phone. That doesn't stop her from slipping me a note asking to watch TV or have a snack--or for me to get off the phone.
A few months ago, I let her get a e-mail account. She only e-mails select friends and only gets on the computer when I'm in the room with her, and so far there have been no problems.
Last Friday she sent me an e-mail. Here is what she wrote:
this is what my body (especially my stomach) feels like, #$%*'@#!$&^**
I was so surprised by the end of the sentence, I didn't even notice that she forgot to capitalize the first word--and I'm an editor.
I quickly realized my nine-year-old didn't know that a whole bunch of random symbols run together stands for, ummm, bad words. I'm pretty certain my daughter doesn't know any bad words.
But I didn't want something like this showing up in a school paper: I feel %$#@ when it rains and we can't go outside for recess--or something like that.
So, I told Christa I was sorry that she didn't feel well. And then I explained what random symbols stood for--without mentioning specific bad words.
"Oh. I didn't mean that."
And I told her I knew that.
End of conversation.
Sometimes a mom-child conversation just has to be brief and to the point. No need to drag it out. As kids like to say, "No harm, no foul."
Or in this case, "No harm, no foul language."