Is My Kid a Bad Influence? Yeah, Probably.

Try as we might, we cannot completely shelter our kids from negative outside influence. They will learn bad words, they will pick up bad habids, and God help us they might even listen to Cardi B. It is clear that my daugher has picked things up at pre-school and brought them home.

For the most part the trend has been increased levels of sass and eye rolls. What used to be a simple “yes” has become a “yeeEEs”. And never at an appropriate time to use sass. Its not like she implements this when repeating the same question about whether or not she’s picked up her toys, she hits me with the sass when I ask her if she wants milk with dinner. Clearly, she picked up this new and exciting response at school and can’t wait to use it, context be damned.

She has also said that things that I know she has never seen or heard are her favorite. Yesterday she said to me, “Dad, JoJo Siwa is my favorite person.” After a Google search to find out who the hell JoJo Siwa is, I concluded that, no. No she is not. More likely that she heard somebody at school with an older brother or sister talk about it and decided that she wanted to be able to talk it too. This is the pre-school version of nodding and smiling in a work meeting when people start throwing around acronyms that you don’t know what they mean. Her JoJo Siwa is my JSON. My only understanding of their existence is that the seemingly random collection of letters that make up there name have made their way onto my computer.

It has been said you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If the behavior of five other kids is osmosing into my daughter, I wonder what of my daughter is showing up in them? What odd new thing is being chalked up the influence of Lucy K.? As much as I don’t want it to be, I assume it is taking off their pants when they shouldn’t be taking off their pants.

Twice in the last month my wife has gotten a call from the school letting her know that our daughter was being inappropriate. One was a classic game of showing yours and mine, which my natural dad reaction is that I’m sure it wasn’t my daughter that started it but the other little son of a bitch. The other was her dropping trou to scratch an itch during nap time. Not much I can say about that one. I mean, I am all for comfort when you’re trying to sleep, but c’mon kid.

We are always given an assurance that it is no big deal and normal, but at the end of the day my kid is the kid who showed the class her business. Much like the kid who has to do the same grade twice, every class has one, but you never think it will your kid. I imagine one of her classmates going home and letting it hang out at the dinner table and giving the excuse of “Lucy K. does it.” And word gets around. Just like that, she’s got a bad name. She’s not invited to birthday parties, she’s left out of play dates, she doesn’t get to sit at the kids-who-keep-their-pants-on table lunch. That Lucy K., she’s a bad seed. But I ask you what is worse – influencing other kids to take off their pants, or have an awareness of JoJo Siwa? Taking your pants off and listening to some 90’s Whitney Houston (which is some of my daughter’s favorite music) sounds a lot better than wearing all your pants and listening to some fad garbage that’s YouTube famous. I might just go take my pants off and listen to The Bodyguard soundtrack right now.

I am sure some good of these kids is rubbing off on each other too. There are moments when my kids do something so kind and responsible I am amazed. And I take total credit for it. It could be something they picked up from a friend though. Helping somebody else get their shoes on and when not to display your parts – the two most important lessons of pre-school.

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