“If I ever hear that filthy word come out of your mouth again, I’m going to wash it out with soap.”
“Wash what out?” my lil’ sis challenged.
“Your mouth. Dirty words demand clean mouths.”
That’s what my momma said when my lil’ sis scrunched up her eyes real beady-like and spit a bad word at her. Lil’ sis was touch and hardy. She paid no mind to my momma’s threats. Nothing scared lil’ sis.
“Oh, yeah?” she countered. “Well, go ahead. I don’t give a damn.”
My momma’s face hardened like stone. Faster than a cat twitching its tail when a mouse scampers across the room, my momma pounced on lil’ sis and grabbed her by the arm. Lil’ sis fought to wriggle free, but when our momma was set on discipline, no amount of wiggling could free you from her clutches. She meant business.
She dragged my lil’ sis, kicking and screaming, to the bathroom. I wanted to follow and watch how she cleaned the dirty words from my sis’s mouth, but my momma slammed the door in my face and shut me out. All I could do is sit on the other side and listen to the muffled rage of my lil’ sis as she lost the struggle.
Later, when she recounted what happened, lil’ sis said our momma shoved a whole bar of wet soap in her mouth and made her hold it there for a whole minute.
“What it did taste like?” I asked.
“It tasted nasty. Like salty bubbles.”
I was curious what salty bubbles tasted like. I didn’t so much mind the salt part. Momma hated how much salt I dumped on my dinner plate to make her diet food taste good. That night, in my bath, when no one was around, I held a bar of soap and worked up the nerve to put it in my mouth. I settled on touching it with the tip of my tongue. Don’t you know, my sis was right?! That white bar tasted just like salty bubbles. I didn’t mind it so much, but then again, I didn’t have to hold it in my mouth for 60 seconds. I hoped I never had to endure that uncomfortable punishment. I was gonna try real hard to keep my mouth clean on my own.