Lydia has started this new thing where she’s calling me “Mother” – it FREAKS me out! The first time she did it I thought it was just a passing thing, but no, she keeps doing it. I’ll ask her to do something, and she’ll say, “Yes Mother …” in this dejected tone. Hearing it makes me feel like an old bat. I don’t know where she heard that! Probably TV! Speaking of which, I’m about ready to ban all TV in our house. Tonight, Arlene called Lydia a “dummy.” She said it with such brute force like she KNEW it was a bad thing to say. I made her apologize and then I gave them both a lecture about how they are to NEVER call people names because that hurts people’s feelings. I tried getting it out of them who they heard that name from. First they said Daddy said it, but I didn’t believe them. (If he did, I’ll kill him!) Then they’re telling me that Arthur says it. (From the PBS show Arthur.) I didn’t really believe that either. Then they’re telling me “boys” said it. What boys? They are rarely around any boys. At this point they’re just grasping at straws trying to tell me what I want to hear! I’m blaming TV! I told them that dummy was a bad swear word and that they weren’t allowed to use it anymore. They know that swear words are bad, because they’ll ask me, “is dangit a bad word?” and I’ll say “no, you can say dangit if you really have to,” or they’ll say, “is shoot a bad word?” and I’ll say, “no, you can say shoot if you want.” I’m hoping “dummy” falls into that category and that they’ll know they have to ASK first before they can use it, to which the answer will be NO! Or hopefully this is just a phase and it’ll pass!