Yesterday, Clara came up to me and declared, "my doll says a bad word."
Confident that we never acquired a doll with a potty mouth, I assured her that she must have misunderstood. But Clara was convinced that the doll was providing a bad example.
"Want to know what she says?"
Curious what terrible word this piece of plastic was teaching my child, I agreed. Clara drew close, whispering in my ear, in an attempt to expose as few people as possible to this doll´s poor manners.
Initially, I couldn´t believe that any toy company would sell a doll that would say "stupid face". However, on listening to the culprit, I had to admit that Clara was right.
Oh, that made-in-China quality control!
However, the doll´s potty mouth was more offensive to Clara´s ears than mine on at least two levels:
1) Within the four-to-eight-year-old age range, isn´t "stupid face" just about the biggest slam there is? One might as well go all out and call someone "poopy face".
2) Not only is my daughter six, but she´s a Mexican six-year-old. Among Mexicans--of any age--"stupid" is the ultimate forbidden word. There are swear words, and then there is stupid.
Now, even in English, it is pretty harsh to call another person stupid. However, in other contexts, we throw the word around all the time.
The airplane is late? Stupid plane.
The refrigerator doesn´t work? Stupid refrigerator.
Any of those phrases are absolutely unacceptable in Spanish (at least, Mexican Spanish). Therefore, under no circumstances should the S-word be applied to a person.
Or else Clara´s doll might call one a "stupid face", too.