i don't think much has changed in the way kids influence each other from 1978 until now. Back then, I was in 1st grade, riding the bus to and from school every day. My family lived on a farm in rural Arkansas, outside the city of Hope (where I was born, incidentally, in case you didn't know that small bit of information about me--yes I'm from the exact same small town as Bill Clinton). We owned 3 chicken houses, and we raised them until they were big enough to send off to the slaughterhouses so we could end up buying them in the grocery store to taken home and eat.
(As a kid I just thought it was fun seeing the baby chicks arrive every 12 weeks or so, having no idea what their eventual fate would be...)
Ok, so back to my original story: I rode the bus to and from school, which was an un-air-conditioned building that housed every grade from kindergarten through 12th. On that bus, I got my first education in "the birds and the bees."
Now before you start jumping to conclusions, thinking terrible thoughts, what I mean is that I remember several "big" kids (they could have just been a few years older than me) asking me one day if I knew what "the birds and the bees" was. Well, I racked my little brain trying to figure out what birds and bees had to do with anything--the only thing I could come up with is that they both fly. So I went home at the end of the day and asked my mom, and she sat me down to read the book Where Did I Come From? After that I didn't ask any more about it, because the book had some pretty explicit cartoons of a mommy and a daddy in the bathtub together, and maybe even a cartoon drawing of a penis. Well, for a 6-year-old, that was just plain gross.
I'm reminding myself of this story about the influence of kids on each other (whether that be negative or positive) so I don't go into shock by what Gillian was singing the other night around the house. It goes like this:
"F@#k-a-licious, f@#k-a-licious, Makes the boys go loco." What made it even worse is that she is taking dance class once a week right now, and she has learned this dance move where she puts her hand on her hip and shakes her butt while bopping her head to one side, so she was doing this move at the same time she was singing.
(I wish I could post a video of Aedan doing the dance move--Gillian taught him to do it, and it's hilarious. But then it gives them something else to argue about because Gillian likes to tell him he's doing it wrong. Oh the joys of siblings...)
Ok, so I heard her singing this, and I immediately stopped and said, "WHAT are you singing?" And she proceeded very innocently to tell me that her friend at school taught her this song. Since I don't listen to pop music, it didn't immediately click to me what she should have been singing. So when I told Rick later, he recognized that the lyrics should have been "Fergalicious, Fergalicious..." instead of the other version Gillian was singing.
Despite my chagrin at Gillian singing anything by Fergie, I tucked her in and taught her the right lyrics so at least my daughter wouldn't be running around singing the F-word at school.
What excitement enters the home when your child attends public school...