Of Cheese Pies and Other Expletives

For those who are curious as to how Athos is holding up in Primary One, first let me apologise for not providing an update. I remain ambivalent about public education as we are experiencing it, and have not been able to find it within me to put in words why I feel the way I do.

So you’ll just have to make do with vignettes for now.

And as far as vignettes go, this one is a screamer. [Grandpa, Grandma, if you’re reading this, please make sure you’re comfortably seated….]

Earlier this evening, I heard Athos saying to his brother: “Oh Cheese Pie.” He didn’t actually say “cheese pie” of course. What he said is a Hokkien swear word, one that I WILL NOT print, but which some creative Singlish hacks have approximated as “cheese pie”. (I’m not saying any more so if you can’t figure it out, please ask someone.)

Pilgrim Dad was sitting nearby and here is the conversation that ensued:

Pilgrim Dad: What did you say?

Athos: Cheese pie.

Pilgrim Dad: Come here. Where did you learn that?

Athos: On the school bus.

Pilgrim Dad: If I hear you say that one more time, I am going to slap you. Do you understand?

Athos: OK.

End of conversation. A rueful Athos crept away and I followed him.  He told me that an older boy on his school bus used the phrase and that’s where he picked it up. I wanted to yell at him for picking up rubbish like that, but rationalised that he probably has no idea what it means. So I explained as calmly as I could that Pilgrim Dad and I were not happy with him using that phrase becuase it was extremely rude, and was especially disrespectful to women. He seemed to understand, and the family settled down to a board game which restored life back to normal.

The backstory to this is that it’s the second time in a few days that we have had this conversation.  Some days back, we heard Athos say “Sh*t”. Again, it was something he had picked up from said school bus. Again, we had to explain to him why he shouldn’t use the word.

I know, I know, I can’t protect my child forever. But I didn’t figure having to start this early!


4 responses to “Of Cheese Pies and Other Expletives

  1. The only way for Athos to learn the clean from the unclean is to pick up the garbage, bring them home, and for dad and mom to teach him what makes for good speech. Those are excellent teaching moments and Athos will pick up the right signals very quickly. Added point, tell him to stay away from those who use bad language. Of course he may ask for examples. No point giving him a barage of them, better to tell him to come home and share it. The prophet Isaiah says to teach ” line upon line, precept upon precept.”.

  2. Thanks for the wise words. My struggle is recover from horror quickly enough to be able to get to the teaching moment! 🙂

  3. Haha. Reminds me of the day when MustardSeed Dad brought the girls out to Burger King with some friends and they were playing in the indoor playground.

    Coming out of the slide, they came up to the dad to tell him what they saw in the slide.

    MS Dad, not fully listening, asked them to repeat what they just said. He regretted that immediately when they obliged by saying in too loud a voice – “It says F*** the police!”.

    Loud enough for the folks around to turn their heads.


  4. Good grief. They should put PG ratings on school buses. It’s a good thing that you sat down to explain it to Athos. I wonder what Porthos’ reaction would be like …

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