Move Your B*tt!

by Tina Blue
June 17, 2001

      Those of you who have been reading my articles over the past year are aware that I ran a home day care for eighteen years.  In fact, many of the articles for this "Kidbits" site are based directly on that experience.

     But it isn't just kids who say the darnedest things.  Sometimes their parents let fall a gem or two.

      Navonne, the mother of one little three-and-a-half-year-old boy in my care, came to me one day and asked how her son had picked up his new favorite phrase, which was "Move your butt!"

      I assured her that he wasn't getting it from me or from the young woman who substituted for me when I had to be away from the daycare. 

      "We never say 'butt' here," I told her.  "When we need to refer to that part of the anatomy, we say 'fanny' or 'tushy,' but never 'butt.'"

      I was always very careful not to use or to allow others to use vulgar or inappropriate language around the children in my care.  The worst offenders, by the way, were often the parents of the daycare kids, who let common swear words drop automatically from their lips, not only in the presence of their own children, but even around other people's children! 

      I frequently had to correct parents for saying "damn" or "hell"  (and sometimes even "sh*t," which I consider to be even more offensive) around the children when they came to drop off or collect their own child.  (I was amused when told about one four-year-old who put her father in time-out at home when he used a curse word.)

      I felt quite confident that James did not get "Move your butt!"  from me or mine, though Navonne still suspected that my sitter must be using the phrase in my absence--or at least allowing some other child to get away with using it.

      Then one Friday evening after the daycare closed, Navonne, Sheila (the mother of a fourteen-month-old in my care), and I decided to take the kids and go out for dinner in Topeka.

      We rode in Navonne's van.   On the way, Navonne tried to change lanes, but she was prevented by an annoyingly pokey driver who just would not get out of her way.  Navonne became so exasperated that she finally leaned out of her window and yelled, "Move your butt!"

      Her little James echoed, "Yeah!  Move your butt!"

      When she heard that, Navonne winced and got a very sheepish look on her face.

     "Well," I said as she glanced in my direction, "I think we can consider that mystery solved."

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