One Suck Per Day

Laylee discovered the word “sucks” this week. She’s known the word for a long time but this week she discovered it in all its frustration-ventilating splendor.

“I forgot my homework at school. That sucks.”

“Oh man. I dropped the spoon on the floor. That SUCKS!”

“It’s bedtime. It so sucks.”

I use that expression sometimes, probably more than I should, but hearing it from my 9-year-old after every third sentence is alarming. It sounds so negative and a bit crass and… well… annoying.

So yesterday when she used it for the third time in as many minutes, I stopped her.

“Laylee,” I said, “You use that word a lot. It’s a strong word and it indicates strong feelings. If you’re using it more than once per day, then you’re not using it correctly. If you use it that much, then it won’t mean anything anymore.”

She furrowed her brow, thinking. And she hasn’t used it since. Because if things can only suck once a day, then you have to be very choosy about how you categorize your disappointments.

If I’d told her not to use it at all, she might have snarked or rebelled, but to tell her she was misusing vocabulary? That gave her pause.

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8 Responses to One Suck Per Day

  1. Brooke Young says:

    Well played mom, well played! 🙂

  2. Allysha says:

    You are awesome.

  3. LOVE this idea! And this is why you are a fantastic mom. Well, one of the reasons…

    At any rate, I am going to try to remember this so I can use it when Sunshine discovers words I don’t appreciate.

  4. FarmWife says:

    Thank you, oh wise one. I will keep this firmly in mind for when Bitsy starts in (which should be any day now since everything Big Sister says, Bitsy must repeat).

  5. Elise Steele says:

    Not only is it clever, but it’s also true! That’s the real beauty of it.

  6. Jess says:

    That is pure brilliance! I think I’m going to have to borrow that one. Thanks!

  7. Linda says:

    We’ve had a similar issue in our house. I started telling H. that ‘sucks’ wasn’t descriptive enough and I didn’t know what he meant. After many questions asking him to elaborate…’when you say suck do you mean….’ he stopped using it as much. In fact, when he says it now he’ll immediately correct himself and say ‘I mean …’ before I have the chance to launch into my annoying questions 🙂

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