Me: "Hey Claire, I found an animal hole in our garden. Maybe that's what's eating our vegetables?"
Claire: "Oh my God."
Me: "What did you say?"
[Claire repeats herself]
Me: "Who did you learn this from?"
Claire: "Evelyn" [of often-mentioned neighbor kid fame, as I don't like their language]
Me: "Claire, let me be clear. That language is not allowed in our home. Maybe the rules in Evelyn's household are different, but in our house you are NEVER to use that phrase. It's not appropriate, it's bad language, and if you say it again you will get in trouble for it."
I tried my best not to overreact (to her, at least), and to teach her that every household might have different rules, but she has to respect our rules.
This conversation preceded two, um, "discussions" with Kyle about him allowing Claire to play with these neighbor kids after I had already told him months ago that only limited contact was allowed going forward. He continues to let them play together, and in fact I learned Claire went inside their house (unsupervised by Kyle) while I was at work late on Tuesday. And then on Wednesday she drops the "OMG" phrase. One couldn't ask for a more direct example of the influence of kids with, uh, mature language.
So I thought the lesson had gone over well with Claire, until I took her and the twins to McDonald's today for lunch to meet her best friend Lauren. Lily dropped her hamburger on the floor and Claire says, "Oh my God". Lauren's mom immediately looked up, I was mortified, and Claire and I had an open conversation about her language again. Actually, we've already had several calm discussions about it, but I have a bad feeling the cat's out of the bag on this one. I will now get the heads-turned-in-stores glares when my young child blurts out the OMG phrase in public and her young sisters follow suit. How embarrassing.
Thanks, neighbor kids. Thanks, Kyle.