puppy eyesThere is a little boy who lives on our street. He’s in first or second grade. His eyes … wow, his eyes. They are amazing! Big, brown, puppy-dog eyes. When he smiles, his cheeks fill with adorable dimples. But his eyes never change. Funny thing. He can be mad, sad, scared, hurt, confused, excited, surprised … but his eyes never change. His eyebrows don’t shoot up or scrunch up or furrow. But his eyes are just beautiful.

He’s a sweet, protected little boy. His young mama is good about not letting him stay at a neighbor’s house all day long without checking in. Only recently has he been allowed to come and play at our house unaccompanied by his sweet mama.

Yesterday Zippy was playing with this young neighbor. I walked up to them and heard the young boy say something about cuss words.

“Oh, brother, what is my son up to? And what did he say to this innocent boy?” were my first thoughts.

Zippy asked me as I approached if ‘what the heck?’ is a bad word.

First, I was relieved. Then I answered, explaining that some families consider it a bad word, and other families don’t.

The young neighbor boy said that in his family, it’s definitely a bad word.

I encouraged him and continued to explain to Zippy who seemed a little taken aback that ‘heck’ was a curse word. “Just like c-r-a-p is a cuss word to some families, but other families think it’s okay to say.”

Again, the young neighbor boy said that that word is definitely a bad word at his house, too.

At this point, I was fearful that he was going to run home and tell his sweet little mama that Zippy and his mama cussed him out and had the worst mouths ever. But, of course, his eyes didn’t let on what he was thinking or feeling, they just stayed their normal old puppy dog look.

The young boy then said that he couldn’t play with a certain neighbor anymore  because he said lots of cuss words. He began to list a couple of the potty mouth neighbor boys’ famous curse words. It was an unimpressive list until he announced that the potty mouth neighbor boy says the F word.

Zippy gasped out loud. I screamed and attempted to cover my gaping mouth.


“Really??!! He does??!!” we needed to know.

Zippy and I stared, gaping, with our eyes wild with wonder and surprise, waiting to hear more.

The little neighbor boy just looked at us with no expression. Those big, brown puppy-dog eyes looking as though we were just discussing scrambled eggs or something just as boring.

Zippy needed details. “You mean F-?-?-K??!!” he spelled the major F bomb outloud to those big brown eyes.

Those big brown eyes just stared at Zippy. Those big brown eyes gave nothing away.

Zippy and I waited, hardly breathing.

I finally realized that the young neighbor boy didn’t know the word that Zippy had just spelled for him. He was waiting for an explanation. Great. We just taught him the worst cuss word on the planet!! The F-Bomb, for crying out loud!

My mind spun quickly, looking for a plan, searching for an excuse or a story or a way out.

And it dawned on me. “You mean F-A-R-T?” I finally asked.

Those big brown eyes shifted to my face, and the little neighbor boy nodded his head slowly.

Oh. My. Word. I am spelling fart like it’s a bad word, and Zippy is spelling the worst word on the planet to the most innocent boy on the planet …. This was getting worse — way worse — really fast.

Zippy and I just looked at each other, our eyes fighting laughter.  Our eyes speaking surprise and awkwardness and saying a thousand things at once. But we just stared at each other, silent. And again not breathing.

“What now?” was the unspoken question between us.

“Alright, you boys go play!” I cheered, changing the tide and sending them on their way.

And I walked back in the house wondering what that sweet, sweet  mama was going to hear about us later and if we would ever be allowed to play with her young boy ever again.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mary Mabry on February 20, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    I’m speechless!!!! My daughter, who was not allowed to say the D word(darn) or the H word (heck) is now teaching the little innocents of the neighborhood POTTY Language!!!


  2. Posted by Shannon Rosson on February 20, 2013 at 9:14 PM



  3. Posted by Liesl on February 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Absolutely love this story. Have to share this one with a friend. She will get a kick out of it. Love ya’ll!


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