The forces of the universe conspired so that Eldest ended up the sole child at dinner Friday night. I mentioned the latest controversy surrounding the R word. Eldest, being 13, reacted as expected. In short, he tried to make the case that there was nothing wrong with the R word being bandied about as it is in middle schools across the country.
And I stumbled upon a way to make him see precisely why it would hurt people, and, no, not the people he was trying to hurt. [Hell, call them douchebags or idiots or morons. I'm okay with that.]
"What if you were mentally retarded? How would you feel knowing that other people were being called 'retards' or 'retarded' as an insult? Or what if you were gay? How would you feel knowing that other people were being called 'gay' to insult them?"
[First, he tried not to laugh at the words I was using, much as he tries not to laugh when he hears "heinous" in the Law and Order: SUV opening.]
"Let's say we started using your name to mean something horrible. You just threw a knife away when you were clearing your plate. 'That's such a Robby.' Or how about when you put the recycling in the lawn clippings bin rather than the recycling bin? Or when you left your computer on when I told you not to? 'You're such a Robby!' 'Stop doing a Robby.'"
For the next few minutes, we just used "Robby" interchangeably for "idiot."
Man, that did the trick. He was positively apopletic that we were using his name like that. And thus a lesson was learned.
He is so not a Robby!
Score one for the parental units!
[And, no, his real name isn't Robby. That was for illustrative purposes only. Feel free to use "Robby" as pejoratively as you like.]
[Sunday Scribblings' prompt for this week? Message. I do think my Eldest got the message.]