Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Do as I say, not as I do

The following is mostly background information so, in the future, when I inevitably bitch need to vent about my children's school- my rambles make sense.

I attended Catholic school all of my life. Catholic school for me, wasn't about achieving a higher level of the faith. My devout paternal Grandmother insisted we be sent to the Catholic school and 'raised' Catholic. My mom agreed mostly because she was spineless, but also because it was a better option than the racial-rioting, gun-toting public school district that was available to us. I'm still alive, can compose a sentence, still have all of my real teeth and am not living in a box, so I am grateful for that.

My mom was raised by a Wesleyan Sunday School teacher that ran around singing 'Jesus Loves the Little Children' and had no judgement and would embrace anyone. She went through catechism at the forceful hand suggestion of my dad's mom. I don't think her heart was ever really in it. The Catholic belief taught her that she was less than good for divorce, for being pregnant out of wedlock, and for not 'worshiping' in a certain way. She tried to embrace it, but in the end, she left the flock.

She continued to send me to Catholic school. The safety, the morality, the better brand of education were driving factors. However, the only Church I attended on Sundays was where my Grandma taught. I wasn't really raised to think that you had to go to a 'certain' church- as long as you prayed. I wasn't taught that if you don't believe X, Y & Z- you're going to hell. My mom and Grandma instilled in us a very simple guideline for our faith: be a good person. As I recall, 'Catholicism' was never beat into my head in school. Long story short, I guess I don't have the strongest foundation as Catholics go.

When my son was to start school, we lived in 'the city'. Again, the unaccredited public school district was a joke. Since my son was my firstborn and at 5, still sweet as pie, I still had his best interest at heart (now, at 13, I would reconsider 'throwing him to the lions', as it were, on many days!) Again, the decision was made, maybe for the wrong reasons, but made nonetheless.

I think the school I went to and the first one we sent my son to, had a different type of Catholic. That sounds really bad, but try and follow. First and foremost, education was priority #1. Yes, they were "Catholic" people, but not necessarily the most devout, practicing ones (sadly, I fit into those JUST FINE!)

Fast forward to 3 years ago. We moved to a community with a reputable, accredited, sought after public school district. I suppose out of 'fear of the unknown', we chose to stick with the Catholic school. However, I notice an extreme difference in the caliber of Catholics at this school.

These are 'good' Catholics (or, at least they've convinced me as much). They have all made a conscious choice to send their kids to this school because of the Catholic values taught- not for a basic decent education. The school administration reciprocates. It is a highly Catholic- driven curriculum, which I suppose is normal even expected, yet new to me.

This is a conversation with one of the first moms I met at the school (we were talking about overhearing the kids' conversations)...

Mom: "Then I heard him use the 'C' word."

Me: Oh my! (GASPING... and thinking holy shit- that is a bad one- probably the only one I don't use- use your imagination, I refuse to type it)

Mom: "Then I felt like it may have been my fault. I now make a conscious effort to not say "crap" around them.

: (nodding head in silence- since I probably had already said that and 4 worse in the 10 minute conversation)

Here's another example of how I am a horrible influence and my kids are totally screwed...

The school has an infraction system. If the kids do something inappropriate or rude or displaying "lack of self- control"- they get one. It took my son all of two weeks to get his inaugural 'infraction' (pop open the champagne, son, you're a man!). I hid my excitement (I wasn't really excited at all, I was scared to death that they had figured out that I'm completely unsuited for this parenting thing- FUCK- the jig is up!) and leaned into him like any semi-inadequate mother would on the defense:

Me: What the hell did you do to get this?

Son: Well, the teacher was about to dismiss us without homework, then some kid said something that made her mad and she gave us homework, after all.

Me: So everyone in class got an infraction?

Son: No.

Me: Oh My God! You were the one that said something to make her mad?Weren't you?

Son: No. It was after she gave the homework. I was talking under my breath and said "this sucks."

Me: (silence)

Apparently, I didn't get the memo about 'crap' and 'sucks' being curse words. Hell, these are the words I use to censor myself! They are my clean words! "Sucks" is such an integral part of my vocabulary. I use it as a verb, adjective, and even been known to throw it in as a noun!

I tried to explain to him that I don't think it's a bad word, but he cannot use it at school since it makes me look bad they find it inappropriate. Our talk must have helped because it took a whole 3 weeks before he got another infraction for the exact same thing!

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HappyHourSue said...

Oh brother. Can you imagine if we got "infractions" as adults? I'm actually amazed how my kids hear all kinds of curse words from me daily, yet they know instinctively which not to repeat - including suck and crap and blows. They are geniuses.

Deb said...

Seriously, crap is my favorite word. How sad is that?

jill jill bo bill said...

We got "demerits" in Algebra. I think I still hold the record for exactly the same thing your son did, "Homework? Good Lord!" demerit ""Oh, crap, sorry." demerit "Ok, really, I'm a freakin' moron." demerit.

I know that instills a great rush of hope in that he going to turn out like HER....???

Tiffany said...

I'm scared to see what happens when my son starts school. With my potty mouth and hubby's constant use of the word fuck, we're doomed. LOL

Terri said...

too funny. my kids thought the "s" word was stupid and shut up until they got about 8 and learned the true "s" word!! :o)

Terri said...

oh, but not from me! no way no how. :o)

Ann said...

This made me laugh.
"This sucks". I had to laugh, although I know it's shouldn't say that... blah, blah, blah.
And that conversation you had! I had a similar one! (I wonder if the look of amusement was obvious.)

C said...

How dare you?! I would never use such foul language around children! (Note the sarcasm and the fact that you can't see my eyes rolling back in my head.) That's crazy! CRAP, CRAP, SUCKS, CRAP. Teeheheehee

sltbee69 said...

Yeah, I try to censor myself too and yet this morning when I was making a comment to my 11-yr old daughter about the sawed off little punk on his crotch rocket rolling through a stop sign, thinking he was so 'tough', she had the audacity to tell me, she was thinking the same thing only instead of tough it was bad ass (without saying it)!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

My goodness, me and my kids wouldn't make it through the door without being bathed in holy water first.

Cocotte said...

My kids go to public school and those words are off-limits there too. I think it's stupid, considering the "crap" that kids write on the bathroom wall and manage to get away with. School sucks!

Mrs4444 said...

Sucks is definately in my vocabulary. That said, I'll never forget the first time Kyle (maybe 5) used it; it killed me to hear his innocent little mouth say it, even though I hadn't considered it that bad of a word. After that, I avoided using it. Of course, I'm right back at it these days, but now he's old enough to use it :)

ciara said...

i was once catholic. now i'm not LOL never been to a catholic school either though my mom wanted to send us. if i were to be in one now, i'd have infractions everyday! LOL

btw came by way of cheaper than therapy

georgie said...

OMGOSH and here i was sitting complaining errrr bloggin about my so got me trumped with this one....

J'Ollie Primitives said...

"the C word" ~ Wicked funny!

When I was three-ish my babysitter told my mom "look out for the dog shit under the swing set." Fascinating new word....I was swinging away chanting "shit shit shit shiiiit..." The growed people could not make me stop saying it because they were peeing their pants laughing. Ah, memories....