The period on the end of that sentence represents the finality of it all. My little guy is four-years old (okay, on his way to five) and has brought home a lot of new ideas from daycare. He's learned words and concepts I wanted to shield him from for as long as possible. Alas, I am powerless to protect him from the shit of the world.
In the first week another little kid bit him. This kid's home life probably sucks, but that does not excuse him from inflicting pain on my kid. Then a year and a half later the same kid bit him again. We have been so lucky that our child has never been a serious biter (just my shoulder once and Granny once). Since then, there have been two other bullies-in-the-making. One of them is still there and continues to have reckless influence ... ugh.
Said boy has also introduced Atticus to several monikers I wish he'd never hear or at least until he was in school. He got the "n" word exposure from this kid who happens to be black himself. The kid also felt it necessary to use the slur "faggot," which I also vehemently hate. I took both of these back to the daycare director, for what it was worth, because I didn't want them to think he brings this crap from home. She was at least sympathetic, knowing where it came from, and assured me she realized the source. This kid apparently gets it from his older brother, but I'm super pissed that little shit is a compelling force on my son from afar! It really sucks that Little Brother Ratbag also hits on the other daycare kids. I never imagined I'd tell my son to first yell "STOP" or "back off" to another kid before hauling off and clocking the kid one himself if he doesn't quit!
This tirade leads to the current problem that A got in the car last night asking why the middle finger is bad. A 10-minute explanation ensued, nine minutes of which he probably ignored, about how gestures and words some times have meanings that are confusing. There are no inherent meaning themselves, but what society constructs them to mean. Of course, I tried the four-year old version, "If by showing that finger you mean to be rude and hateful, then you shouldn't do that to anyone." He was apparently using it on the playground somehow, and I'm not naive to think my kid never does anything wrong, but I seriously don't think he had any idea it could be perceived that way. His teacher told him, "That is bad." The inevitable question came, "But why, Mom?" What do you say to that?
I told him it's just like how the words "shut" and "up" aren't necessarily bad, but you shouldn't say them loudly to someone else in a mean way. It's too much for a little guy to absorb, I think. He used to point at things with that finger with no intent or purpose whatsoever. He's not seen his dad and me doing it. I swear he's never seen me use it in traffic per chance this situation come up. Now he knows it has some kind of magical power that brings attention, negative or not. And this wasn't supposed to happen until later, damn it! I'm afraid it's all down hill from here.