As I was just walking out the door this morning, headed to a doctor's appointment, Ethan bounded after me for a hug and a kiss.
And then he gave me the finger.
In a split second, I weighed my options. 1. Talk to him about it, telling him that it is impolite to give people the finger and run the risk of him doing it all day in school or 2. Ignore it and run the risk of him doing it all day in school.
I went with option 1.
Me: Ethan. (I bend over and gently push his finger down from its erect position). Ethan. We shouldn't point our middle finger at people. It is impolite.
Me: It's just very naughty. It means something very naughty.
Me: It is a super duper bad word for penis.
He slowly looks down at his middle finger, which is making its way back up again... and he is probably thinking, "Whoa. I have two penises? This is seriously awesome."
He looks up at me and I am staring back at him.
Now, going with option 1 was a risk in more than one way. Here is a 6-year-old who thinks it is a better idea to jump out of a two-story window with a pillow than use a ladder. (Please see entry entitled "Fire Drill" for more on that).
Me: I said, it is a really naughty word for penis and it would be naughty to put up your middle finger in front of people.
Evan shows up from nowhere.
Evan: It doesn't mean penis!
My hand darts up to say "Stop."
Evan likes to speak before he thinks (please see entry entitled "Monopoly" for details).
Me: Evvvannnn. He doesn't understand that stuff yet.
Evan: Oh. Yeah. Right. Sorry.
Me: Okay Ethan. I understand that you are very curious about holding up your middle finger. And that's fine if you do it. Just don't do it in front of people. Okay?
Ethan: (Still staring at his hand). Okay.
I kiss him goodbye and leave...
But I only make it out of the driveway... because I forget something and have to head back in the house.
I find Ethan standing where I left him looking sheepish.
Evan pops out of nowhere again.
Evan: I caught him doing it again.
Me: Evan. Just leave him alone.
I walk into the kitchen and Zayd is at the counter eating oatmeal. He is looking down at his shirt and I swear to God... I can't believe what I see... but he does it.
He LICKS the oatmeal off the iron on, on the front of his shirt. I'm not talking about a little lick. I am talking a "full tongue, wipe-off a good 2-inch square area of shirt" lick. Which come to think of it, should not be called a lick. What's the next step up from lick?
I stop in my tracks.
Me: You did NOT just do what I thought I saw you do.
Holy. - is "what?" all these kids say?
Me: You do NOT LICK your shirt for any reason.
I grab a paper towel, wet it down and wipe off his shirt.
Me: That is seriously gross.
I finally leave. I have done what I can for the moment.
I must leave them to face the world on their own. I can only hope we make it through the day without a phone call from school.