Too much testosterone

Earlier this week my preschooler effectively tossed my parenting “skills” into the toilet.


By using the F-word at school.

He used it appropriately, in the sense that he was angry and the word was placed grammatically correctly in the sentence.

But I was mortified.

Sure, he’s heard that word before – both at home and out in the real world. But we’ve always placed importance on using kind and respectful language.

I remember my father telling me that people who use vulgar language “lack creativity”. He’s right.

I rarely use profanity, and I’m not easily offended. It’s just that cursing is not my style.

I totally get the need for strong language, or minimally a damnit-ouch-crap! when one slams a hammer into one’s thumb, or drops a tray of dishes that smash to pieces on one’s kitchen floor. However, in every day type of situations, I don’t see the need to swear, as they say, like a sailor.

So I was pretty darn upset when I learned that my son told one of his friends to “get his effin’ foot out of the basket!”

I have no idea what basket to which he was referring. And he didn’t say “effin'”.

We talked about language for the next couple of days. I think our message resonated with him, especially as he observes his younger brother struggling to find his words and learning more and more of them as the days go by.

Tonight I was singing something in the kitchen as I served the evening meal.

“Um, mama? I prefer that just the professionals sing. Not you.”

“The professionals?”

“Yeah, you know like the professional singers who sing Lukin and Sweet Caroline.”

Pearl Jam.

Neil Diamond.

I remind myself that he is exploring the ways in which he communicates, and the responses he receives to his observations and questions. He made his preference known using a quiet and calm voice. I didn’t take it personally that he prefers their voice to my own, but I did proceed to turn up the volume to Beyoncé’s Single Ladies, Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart, then a few ballads by Elizabeth Mitchell (mamas-to-be and moms of newborns, you should definitely check her out).

Alone in a sea of grown and tiny men (and male dog), I had to find a female with whom I could identify.

But I realize it’s a little embarrassing that I still like “Conga” by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine (circa 1985), so I’m taking suggestions for new rockin’ female singers this week.


Help a woman out.

Because sometimes there’s just too much testosterone at my house.

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20 thoughts on “Too much testosterone

  1. paralaxvu says:

    Well, some of these may go back farther than ’85, I think. How about Pat Benatar? Annie Lennox? k.d. laing? Melissa Etheridge? Ummm, Norma Zimmer? And hey, nobody could belt ’em out like Ethel Merman! OK, so now I just went back too far…

  2. Erin says:

    Boy, can I relate Sara! I, too, am awash in testosterone here (although thankfully, our dog is female, so at least I have her!) The ladies I rock to these days include: Beth Orton, Christina Perri, and Brandi Carlile. Always good for a run are Rihanna or Nicki Minaj (although DEFINITELY not kid friendly!) Y en español, me encanta la cantante Bebe. 🙂

  3. kepadilla says:

    I guess Dad would say he was surrounded by too much estrogen !! (:

  4. extechie says:

    I, too, love myself a little Miami Sound Machine to get myself going in the morning. “Conga?” “Get on your feet?” Those are old-school standbys to get you moving. Also reaching back to the 80’s and 90’s are Ani DiFranco and classic Indigo Girls, two favorites of mine from college days…

    PS — Did you know that Gloria Estefan’s husband produced Shakira’s first albums in English? I think I learned that somewhere, but I don’t quite remember where.

    Good luck and rock out!

  5. Kerstin says:

    What’s wrong with “Conga” ??? Nothing, I think! 🙂

    I hear you with the language – but I don’t agree with the lack of creativity. Sometimes you just need an “outlet”, but preschool may not be the best place for it…

    I definitely try to keep the language at home “clean”, there is enough of it anywhere else. (Scratch that about the language in my last blog post. There is plenty of that, but it’s about 50 Shades and well, that’s that)

  6. Jim Padilla says:

    OK – PJ Harvey (Sheela-Na-Gig, others), Belly (Seal My Fate, others), and The Breeders (or any Pixies featuring Kim Deal) for rockin; Sarah Bareilles, Regina Spektor, and Feist for medium; Billy Holiday, Edith Piaf and Bjork for wallowing in it. But that’s just one “sister’s” opinion…

  7. Jennifer Worrell says:

    Hilarious! We’re discussing the differences between “home talk” and “school talk” in my house, too. Have you tried Lucinda Williams? Skye Zentz?

  8. momfog says:

    I just realized that I don’t listen to very many female singers. I can’t think of a single one, but I’m hoping that’s because everybody already named the good ones. Oh! I love Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. And Norah Jones for the mellow times.

  9. Nichola Voss says:

    I lilke Joan Osborne…. she’s full of soul. You have great kids, Sara, F-words and all.

  10. jamie says:

    Wow! Your kids are so cool. But female rockers? My all time fav is Sheryl Crow.

  11. christina says:

    OMG HYSTERICAL!!!!! i mean, he really did use the F word appropriately! too flippin funny. i mean, no it’s not!!! 😉 as for the female singers- Alanis Morisette? Melisa Etheridge? and if you wanna keep it super duper kid friendly you can always go with Laurie Berkner. 😛

  12. Cathy says:

    I struggle to think of one preschooler who didn’t experiment in that area. 🙂

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