Kids are epically dumb sometimes.
Of course, that’s practically a tautology. And, as parents, meliorating said dumbness as best we can is a significant part of the gig.
Which brings me to this afternoon. My beloved firstborn texted me a not-nice something that is making the rounds on the Internet. It’s an abbreviation for a six-word expression, and you can’t say two of the words on network television.
So my guess is he meant to text this—just not to me. What do I do? Here’s how I replied, and how it went from there:
Ah. Got it. It’s the old just-trying-to-text-my-dad-some-gibberish-for-a-yuck-and-accidentally-typed-out-six-letters-in-order-that-exactly-correspond-to-an-obscene-expression defense.
We went on for another screen of back and forth, during which I gave him more opportunities to backtrack. But nope, he dug in.
You know, I was 13 years old once. I remember thinking crude words and expressions were the height of hilarity, and sharing them with my friends, and laughing, and laughing again. It’s no big deal. It’s part of childhood. Nathan’s just got way more technology with which to do it than I ever had. So he wasn’t really in hot water for that. We would have a word about a time and a place for everything, and that would be it.
It was when he lied about what he did, and then doubled down when his father charitably offered him an escape, that he got in trouble. That it’s an endlessly stupid lie is irrelevant. He went with it. So he went down with it. Still mild, really—he can’t use anything with an IC in it for the evening—but that’s enough to sting him a little bit.
I wrote about him trying to lie more convincingly at Rocket City Mom once. His pre-lie intelligence gathering was poor on that earlier one. This time, he grossly underestimated the absurdity of his claim. He’s really pretty bad at this. I hope—I believe—he has enough of a moral foundation to stay that way.
(Of course, if he ever improves significantly, I guess I won’t know it, will I?)