Know What You’re Saying :: An Embarrassing Lesson For My Kids

Know What You’re Saying :: An Embarrassing Lesson For My Kids

I have two boys, one of whom is in middle school. My husband and I have always believed in the importance of openness and honesty with them. There are simply lessons we’d rather them learn with us. Sometimes that means unexpected lessons in unexpected situations.

On a recent road trip, my oldest was bored in the back seat and started repeating random, annoying sounds.

Oldest: Doosh doosh doosh doosh doosh

Me: Stop saying that please. It sounds like something I’d rather you not say.

Oldest, moments later: Doosh doosh doosh doosh

Me: Alright, that’s it. This sound you’re making … do you know what you’re saying? Because you’ve been warned. So now you get to find out. The sound you’re making sounds a lot like the word, douche, which is a term used for a way in which a woman can clean her VAGINA by inserting a spray bottle into her VAGINA, which is wholly unnecessary, as the VAGINA is self-cleaning and it can also be harmful to the VAGINA’S natural flora. What questions do you have?

My husband almost drove off the road.

Youngest son: Why didn’t you just shut up when she asked you the first time when you know this is how she gets?!

The rest of the car ride was free of annoying sounds. This is a silly story but one that I think reinforces a few important lessons for my kids:

  1. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. This means you have to understand words before you use them.
  2. Listen to Mom the first time.
  3. I’m not afraid or embarrassed to talk about body parts. You shouldn’t be either.
  4. No topic is off limits. Come to us with anything.
  5. We don’t have to have sit-down, planned, formal conversations. We can chip away at uncomfortable topics little by little as they come up along the way.

A few weeks later, my youngest son needed 75 cents for the school bake sale. He grabbed some change and counted it out to 69 cents. My oldest chuckled, “Haha, sixty-nine.” I shot him a look and said, “What’s so funny about that?” He became immediately serious, and said, “I don’t know. But please don’t tell me.” I couldn’t help but laugh. I let him off the hook with a warning on that one, reminding him again that we don’t say things if we don’t know what they mean. I knew he wasn’t ready for that conversation and wanted to show him I could respect that fact. I also wanted him to know that I have a sense of humor, too.

And then I filled in my husband, who wanted to curl up and die.

Alyson Haggerty
Alyson lives in Metairie with her husband, Patrick, their two boys, and their Morkie, Beignet. After teaching for almost ten years, she left a career in education, earned her BSN, and now works as a pediatric emergency nurse. In her free time, Alyson enjoys flipping furniture, writing, dancing, and painting. She is always looking for a racquetball partner and loves streetcar rides and playing board games with her family. A good cook, she is constantly on a quest to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” but has thus far been unsuccessful.


  1. Looks like we went to the same school of parenting. I too believe in saying all the things and using the right words when they come up. Your post was spot on and a great lesson for us all!


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