When Your Child Tells A Grown Up Joke, But Didn’t Know They Did…

Last night my seven-year-old son quoted a line that was used in a comedy movie for grown-ups, and I couldn’t believe where he heard it…

The boys love pasta. They could pretty much have pasta every night if pizza didn’t exist. If it was up to them we would have pizza night followed by pasta night followed by pizza night followed by pasta night, followed by pizza night followed by, well, they also love Thai style noodles, so let’s call that the Sunday night breaker…

But last night they really wanted me to do pasta, and so, as they requested, I did pasta. It’s not just pasta alone, but pasta as the main dish with a side dish of raw cucumber, cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks (although the younger one tends to only eat the cucumber).

And the kids are weird. They don’t like traditional pasta sauce on their pasta, so a few squirts of tomato sauce (ketchup if you will) finds its way on top of the pasta. They eat it, they are full, and dinner is done with minimal fuss on pasta night.When I told them that I would be starting to cook the dinner, the four-year-old (who is closer to five than four) decides to put on one of his little acts that he does. He holds his stomach and then starts trembling while screaming out;

“I’m hungry, I’m hungry…”

I assured him that dinner would be very quick tonight because pasta and raw vegetables on the side is a very quick meal to make. But no, he has to do his “but I want dinner NOW” routine which not only annoys the crap out of me and my wife, but his big brother is really over it to.

“Settle down. Dinner will be quick. Daddy is cooking it now. It will be ready very soon.”

At least I had moral support and one child on my side before I battled the pots and pans in the kitchen. <insert drama>

Dinner was seriously quick. I pre-boiled the water in the kettle which is a super high-tech one that boils water ever so quick. Then it was simply a case of tipping the pasta in, and six minutes later, viola <<<< that’s the French “viola” thank you very much. The boys were already sitting at the dining table as we have the new desktop computer set up on it as my wife has a friend helping out to do some data entry for her.

“Okay boys, dinner’s ready…”

And then, out of the blue came a line from the seven-year-old that I wasn’t expecting him to say.

It’s a line that was used in the trailer for the (Australia) M 15+ rated Cameron Diaz movie Bad Teacher.

You might remember this line;

Video Copyright Sony Pictures. To find out more about Bad teacher visit the official website.

Generally speaking, trailers do not contain any scenes or words that would render them unsafe viewing for children, even if the movie is rated for adults only or suitable only for older kids. The line itself is not that bad.

“Shut the front door.”

I am fairly sure that I have said this to both boys, but I was being more literal. I’m sure it was a direction given to either of them after they left the front door open after being the last one in after arriving home. I know I’ve said it. I would suggest that you’ve said it word for word when your own kids have left the front door open.

What he didn’t know is that this is what’s known as a “Gosh Dang It to Heck!” in the world of TV Tropes. A “Gosh Dang It to Heck!” is a term that describes when a character uses a substitute word or phrase to sound like they are swearing when they in fact are not able to swear because of the rating of that show. Outside of the world of television, these are known as a minced oath.

A minced oath is a euphemistic expression formed by misspelling, mispronouncing, or replacing a part of a profane, blasphemous, or taboo term to reduce the original term’s objectionable characteristics. And in the case of the phrase “shut the front door” you know what is really implied;

“Shut the fuck up!”

Whilst that phrase can be used in a negative or pejorative way, it is most often used, as displayed in the video I shared, as a means of showing just how surprised you are. And that it exactly how my son used the “shut the front door” phrase tonight. Although he knew dinner would be quick, it was cooked way quicker than he thought it would take.

I’ll admit I was taken aback. I was surprised that he said it. Shocked is probably the better word for it.

“Where did you get that expression from?”

“I don’t know.”

“I’m sure you do…”

I was actually expecting him to tell me that one of his school friends says it. But no. Not a school friend.

“It is from a TV show.”

“Which one?”

“SheZow.”

If you’ve never heard of SheZow, this is a joint Australian-Canadian production which was created by an American television producer and director. The show is a cartoon about a boy who finds a ring that was once owned by his aunt, and when he puts it on he turns into a superhero superheroine. Yes, you read that right. The boy, when wearing this ring takes on the appearance of a female superhero. He’s not transgender by any means, just a boy who turns into a crime fighter that just happens to be dressed in a female superhero suit, just as his aunt wore before him.

The theme song is really catchy with its post-punk/pop-punk sound and I often hear it when my kids watch it, and I have seen a few scenes now and then so I know the basic flow and dialogue of the show. Like many modern day kid’s cartoons, it has edgier dialogue than what we had growing up with the likes of Scooby Doo or The Flintstones, but it is not out of place in the current climate of post-turn-of-the-millenium kid’s show programming.

The fact of the matter is, whilst SheZow has come under fire in the US from One Million Moms who are an affiliate of the American Family Association because they claim it gives the wrong impression with a cross-dressing, almost transgender lead character, I think that the show is great because it shows boys that they can be like the female superheroes they watch like Wonder Woman, just the same way millions of girls have idolised the many male superheroes such as Batman and Superman, and they have no issue wanting to be like them.

As the show is shown on our government run children’s television station in Australia as well as international networks such as Discovery Family/Kids, I am sure that the show is definitely suitable for kids my own son’s age. And the best thing is, he used it in context. This is a kid who loves catchphrases and idioms but uses them at inappropriate times when the saying doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I am sure there will come a time, whether it’s in his teen years (geez, I hope it’s not before then) or earlier, or, hopefully later in life that he’ll used the “shut the front door” as a minced oath. We’ll probably share in the jocular nature of him using this phrase equally; possibly while watching some sort of sporting event, or chatting about life over a cold beer or two. Until then, sadly, he doesn’t get to enjoy the joke as much as I am when he says it. Fun Fact: he has used the expression about half a dozen times in the last 24 hours.

My little boy is growing up.

“Shut the front door.”

What have your kids said that have surprised you?

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