Thursday, April 19, 2012


Boy climbs into the backseat of the car humming loudly.  He's a fairly hyped up because he's just been to soccer practice, and apparently there was head butting involved.  But wait.  Allow me to correct the unintended tameness of that first sentence.  Boy doesn't so much "climb" into the backseat, as he does "mount" it. Maniacally.  Yes, that's more like it.  The humming too, boarders on maniacal.

None of this is unusual for Boy these days, so I coolly push my sunglasses into place and drive on.

When we turn out of the school parking lot onto the main road, the maniacal humming turns to maniacal singing.  Mind you, he still hasn't said a single word to me beyond a chirpy "Yyyessss!" when I ask if he's remembered his hat and jacket. 

His song goes something like this:

Bosom, bosom, bosom, bosom.
Bosom, bosom, bosom, bosom.
Smack your BOZEM!
Smack your BOZEM!
Bosom, bosom, bosom, bosom....
And so on and so forth, until I finally have to ask, "Boy?  Why are you singing bosom, bosom, bosom over and over again like that?"

He stops mid-bosom and thinks a second before he says, "I don't know.  I just think bosom is a fun word to say.  Listen! Bosom, bosom, bosom..."

I let him sing his song again.  It's growing on me.  Bosom is a great little word, afterall.  But after the second round of "Smack your BOZEM!" I begin to wonder.

"Boy?  Do you have any idea what the word 'bosom' means?"

"Oh.  Um.  Well....I think it might have something to do with friends? or something?"

"Yes, it can mean something like that.  Something close.  Something comfortable.  A bosom-buddy. Or the warm bosom of family.  But it has another meaning that you should probably be aware of."


"It also means, you know....boobies."

Boy begins to giggle--maniacally--and in so giggling, very nearly swallows his tongue.

"No!  Wait!" he snorts, "You mean!  I've been saying...!  And smack your...!  Nooooo!"

We're nearing home by now.  Gradually the fit of giggles wears itself out.  I'm backing the car into the garage when he asks, "So, you didn't say.  Am I allowed to say it?"

"Say bosom?  Ummmm.  Tja, yeah?  I guess so?  Maybe?  If you really want?"

That is right, isn't it?  I mean--bosom.  It's not like titties, or knockers, or even boobies.  Right?  Sure enough he'll come across as a pretentious turd if he ever decides to compliment a girl on her ample bosom, or anything dire like that.  But he's allowed to go around singing "Bosom, bosom, bosom, bosom" at the top of his lungs, right?

I'm pretty sure I've totally lost the plot on this whole naughty words/nice words parenting task.  I figure, as long as nobody in this house feels free to tell me to go fuck myself, I've won at least half the battle.  But here in Norway where both TV and radio are completely uncensored, where the likes of Nicki Minaj and Eminem are played blithely in my kids' classrooms during the lunch hour, and the English swear words are considered by most parents to be harmless good fun, it's really hard to draw much more of a line in the sand than that.

It also doesn't help that I've lived here so long that I no longer have a clear sense of what some of these words actually mean.  As an example, this past week the kids have had uteskole (outdoor school).  Rather than the usual classroom routine, everyone heads outside, and each day each class is assigned to a different station designed to get kids moving and enjoying the great outdoors.  One of the stations was canoeing, which we, here in this house, oh so wittily renamed kanoodling.  As in, "Boy!  You're kanoodling today, don't forget the lifevest."  Or, "So Missy, did you enjoy the kanoodling today?"  And even worse, "So EM?  Did you get wet during the kanoodling?"  It was Wednesday afternoon before I dimly remembered that kanoodling might have something to do with sex.

Given all that, who am I to deny my boy the right to sing his joy of bosom?


Grandma Gae said...

"Bosom, bosom, bosom" You can't deny it has a nice buzz to it. Kind of tickles your tongue. But where did it come from on that particular day? And "kanoodling"? Why don't I know that word? Is there a gap in my vast store of euphemisms?

Jillybaby said...

"Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow" - Brimful of Asha by Cornershop. Look it up on iTunes!