The Bus, 4th Graders and Word Choice

I have been driving the school bus each morning since mid August.  Sometimes I have to work hard  to not laugh out loud.

Tuesday is a perfect example.

A 4th grade boy sits in seat two.  Seat one is directly behind me and seat two is to  the right of seat one.  Since the bus is not terribly noisy, I can hear him quite well when he speaks.

I’m driving along, the kid is sitting in his seat, looking straight ahead and for no reason that I could see, he blurts, “F—!” loudly enough for most of the bus to hear.

This bus takes the kids to a Catholic school and I could see everyone looking at me to see what I’d do.   I grew up around the Marine Corps and I’ve that word more than a few times, so it really didn’t offend me.   However, I felt that if I didn’t do something, or worse, laughed,  I’d have a bunch of potty mouthed kids…and I didn’t want that… I’m both protective of “my” kids and I feel their behavior is somewhat of a reflection of me….So…..

“Hey!  Don’t talk like that!  Why did you say that?”

“It was just random.”

“Random?  That didn’t sound random to me.  Would you say that to Sister _____(the principal)?”

“No.”, kind of uncomfortably.

“Well, why did you say that around me?  Don’t you respect me as much as you do Sister ____?”

“I don’t know.  Yes.  I mean no. I mean….” as he shrunk down in the seat.

“If you ever say that around me again, you’ll be randomly cleaning cafeteria tables during recess.  Understood?”

“Yes.”

Then, a bit more gently, “You know, if you get into the habit of talking like that,  one of those words will just slip out without you even realizing it. And it will probably happen at the worst possible moment.  That’s why you shouldn’t talk like that.”

“OK.”

 

This morning,  after I finished driving the bus route, I mentioned this exchange to one of the teachers and she smiled.  Yesterday during lunch, the same boy was talking with one of his friends and behind him, talking with a parent, was the principal…”You’re F—-ing kidding me!”

She said the principal politely disengaged herself from the conversation with the parent and walked over to see who said that.

At the school, they call this situation “Fun with the nun.”

 

 

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