To my middle son, Edward, darling. My son “with a handicap.” My boy who “is physically limited.”
To my child with “growth deficiencies and developmental issues.”
We need to have a chat.
It’s about your filthy mouth. You’ve started swearing.
It’s not like you’re dropping the F-bomb (thank goodness) or breaking the third commandment (again, let’s be thankful for that). You haven’t started swearing like a sailor or imitating late-night TV shows.
It’s really just one phrase that you’ve begun to say. I don’t know if you learned these words from a friend at school, or maybe when your father let them slip, but it doesn’t matter.
You will not talk that way in my house.
They are just two little words, but I’m ashamed to hear them cross your lips:
You’ve started to say that filthy phrase with frequency, and I refuse to tolerate it.
If you’d been raised in a different generation, you would be familiar with the taste of soap by now. You’d have been punished for the speech that comes from those lips you use to kiss your mother goodnight.
But here, today, in my family, I choose to clean up your speech in another way. I won’t be pulling out the soap, or forcing you to choose your own switch.
I have another method for changing your behavior.
I am determined to prove you wrong.
You see, when you utter those offensive words, it’s not because you actually can’t. It’s because you require a bit more time. It’s because you need more encouragement. It’s because you think it would be easier to give up.
But I won’t allow your negative talk to continue as long as you live under my roof.
In this house, I will go to great lengths preventing you from this inappropriate behavior.
I’ll give you extra time. I’ll be more patient.
I’ll offer suggestions and lend a helpful hand. I’ll cheer and praise in the moments you prove yourself.
I will even allow you to fail with the purpose of learning from your missteps.
But I will not tolerate those inappropriate words anymore.
Dearest son, some people exchange swear words for less offensive phrases, for example, “Oh my goodness,” or “darn it!” Well, I have a few phrases I suggest for you. I’d prefer you use these phrases and stop with the swearing:
“Can you help me do it?”
And finally, “I can.”
The Mother You Kiss Goodnight With That Mouth
P.S. One final thing, son. If you ever hear someone utter the words, “You can’t,” I give you permission to wash their mouths out with soap.