Since Drew is just a little over 2 years-old, I did the most reasonable thing I could think of- I told him we don't call people that and then I called his almost 5 year-old brother in for some explaining. Zach swore up and down that he did not tell Drew to say that, and that "Drew just thought of it on his own." Right. I was already having a hard time not laughing about the whole thing, but I was pretty certain that my 2 year-old, though he's definitely ornery, wouldn't have come up with that one on his own. I kept at it with Zach, telling him how wrong it is to lie, how that would really upset me, how if he kept lying he might have to miss his preschool graduation and picnic. He stuck to his story, looking me in the eye pretty well. Drew was right next to me, basically leaning close and imitating me, which didn't help me keep a straight face very well. Then I asked Drew, "Drew, did Zach tell you to say penis-head?" Drew's immediate response was, "Yes," and about a split second after that came out of Drew's mouth I heard Zach mutter under his breath, "Darn." I knew I had the case closed at that point. I asked Zach what he said, and he gave me the standard "I was just talking to myself" line that he gives me anytime he says something he wishes he hadn't said aloud. I was pretty mad, even though the comedy of my 2 year-old calling me a penis-head was not lost on me. So I told Zach that he was in big trouble and he needed to go sit on the stairs while I figured out what his consequence would be. I threatened to cancel his birthday party, but that felt too harsh, so I knew I wouldn't do that. I didn't decide until after I picked him up from preschool what the consequence would actually be. I told him he would have no dessert and no T.V. watching for one whole week. I felt this would be ok because first of all, he likes both of those things, but doesn't necessarily get them every day, so it's not a huge thing, but hopefully it will be big enough to make an impression. And, I might offer Drew dessert and T.V. a little more readily than I normally do just to help drive the point home in this next week. I would have liked to have talked to Mike before deciding for sure, but I also didn't want to wait too long to put the consequence in place.
Maybe other parents don't agree with this, but I feel that with Zach as my oldest child, I can generally tell which of his preschool friends have older siblings. Those kids just seem a little more knowledgeable about things I don't necessarily want Zach to know about yet, and sometimes they use language that, while not necessarily bad, I don't really want Zach using. I'm not trying to blame or judge the older siblings or the parents for the bad stuff; I know that's just how life works. I was just telling my friend Molly yesterday how in a couple of years, Drew's friends' parents will probably be saying that about Drew- "Oh, well, you know Drew does have an older brother, so he probably learned it from him..." So basically as soon as I realized what Drew was saying to me this morning, that conversation came back to me. It's happening already, I thought, Drew is learning to say inappropriate things from Zach, and he's only 2. Ugh.
On another note, when we picked Zach of from preschool, he said, "It's frickin' nicer than you expected it to be today, isn't it, Mom?" Sigh. Again, it's not like "frickin'" is a bad word, but I just don't think I need to hear it from my 4 year-old. I told him I didn't like him saying that and that I'd rather he say something like, "It's really nice out, " or something similar. But, this one I can't blame on friends with older siblings- I think this comes straight from Mike, and maybe me, too. I don't think I say it a lot, but I may just not be realizing when/how often I do say it. Anyway, I won't be surprised if I hear it come out of Drew's mouth one of these days.