Tonight we were having dinner and engaged in a family discussion about this proverb:  Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24)

I was telling the boys that saying nice things to people makes them feel good, like eating honey. Sammy as pretty engaged in the conversation and he even gave some good examples of nice things we can say to people (Thank you for dinner Mommy, I like you, lets play together, etc.). Eli was listening but not participating, so I asked him for an example. He responded, “Punch you”. I told him that was not a nice thing and to try again try again, to which he replied, “Penis”.

Now, to provide a little background, he’s been randomly yelling the word penis at home and in public for weeks now. Honestly I’m not sure where he got the idea, but once he saw the reaction it gets from older ladies in the frozen food aisle in the grocery store he was hooked. We’ve been disciplining him for it, but he’s been pretty stubborn about it.

In light of the passage we were discussing, I thought it would be appropriate to build on the simile and give the boys a picture of the relation between spoken words and taste. I told Eli, “You know you aren’t allowed to say that word like that, don’t say it again.” He, of course, did immediately. I went to kitchen and put a drop of liquid soap on my finger, put my finger in his mouth and rubbed the soap on his tongue. Boy was he surprised. He did this:

Shock ...

Sammy did this:

Gross! I can't believe this is happening!

After the initial shock I wiped his tongue off with a washcloth and asked him if he’d liked the way that tasted. He said he did not, and I told him that if he said it again he would get more soap in his mouth. To which he replied, “Penis.” After another round with the soap he looked like this:

... Awe

We talked about how yucky the soap tasted and how bad it made him feel to have it on his tongue. I told them that saying mean things to people is like that, and that saying nice things is the opposite. Hopefully they’ll remember tonight’s little lesson, but if not I have a family size bottle of dish soap to help them remember.

Eli recovered from the incident nicely (with no further penises) and by the end of dinner he looked like this:

I'll never say penis again! Thanks Dad.


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