From the Mouths of Children

In the before-times, specifically the pre-Covid summer of 2019, we rented a cabin for a little over a week in the mountains to the east of where we live. Mildly Sensational and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary, and this particular mountain town is a favorite getaway of ours. We’re not particularly outdoorsy or rugged. We didn’t even leave the cabin all that much. We just enjoy being in the mountains.

On this particular trip we were looking for something to do that didn’t involve turning on the TV or losing the kids into the glowing vortex of their tablets. A quick search of the game closet turned up a package with the classic competitive card game, Uno. We set it out, taught it to the kids, and did next to nothing else for the following two days, they liked it that much.

Our daughter, Somewhat Wonderful, is a competitive kid. She likes to win at games, and sometimes gets upset if things don’t go her way. We’ve been working with her on that. It should be noted that my wife and I don’t do a lot of moderating our language, or even what we talk about around either of the kids. As a result they have knowledge about and opinions on things they probably don’t really need to be concerned with until they’re much older. Another consequence is they know swear words…all of them…and can use them correctly in context.

There is no better example of this than when one game of Uno made a hard turn against my daughter when it came around to me. I was able to reverse the turn order of the game twice, getting rid of two cards, then put down a draw-four that went to her, leaving me with a single card. I said Uno, making it her turn. She looked at her cards, unable to do anything to avoid this unlucky turn of events. After a moment she said simply, and with the air of someone who’s just seen a carefully constructed winning strategy evaporate in the face of an opponent’s lucky break, “…fuck…”

My wife, my son, and I all lost it. It was a good five minutes before any of us stopped laughing long enough to continue playing. No one scolded her or told her that nice young ladies don’t talk like that, we just got on with the game. That’s how we roll.