My most epic fail as a parent has to be my language. It comes from years of working in IT with manufacturing plant employees, executives and salesmen. Not that they are all guilty of it, but it’s pretty prevalent. When Mason was born I worked really hard to avoid saying any cuss words. I really tried. It always happens when your guard is down and you break something, spill something, hurt yourself, etc. So honestly, after a while, I just gave up. It’s not like I say the F-word on a daily basis, but any cuss word is not acceptable when repeated by a toddler.
As a result, there was a 2 month period in Mason’s life when he was around 2.5 years things got pretty yucky. Mason loves words. Of all kinds. I decided to tackle the situation just like I would any other type of thing he is not supposed to do that his parents do. I told him some words are “adult words” and kids are not allowed to say them. Luckily he wasn’t running around saying bad things all the time, but the handful of times it happened, it was both simultaneously hilarious (in a twisted sort of way) and humiliating.
Mommy’s favorite word (apparently) is sonofabitch. Yes, it’s one word. And to get the full impact and meaning, you have to say it very low and slow in a drawn out Texas drawl.
s o n o f a b i t c h
And the context is:
You grab the bottle of apple juice from the fridge by the cap, but the cap wasn’t put on tightly, so the contents spill all in the fridge, all over the floor, under the fridge and across the counter and the bottle is at the other side of the kitchen: sonofabitch
You come out of the coffee shop and sit your $5 coffee on top of the car to strap both of the kids in their car seats. You drive off and realize the brand new and full frapaccino you drug both kids in and out of the car to get was still on top of the car: sonofabitch
You are rocking your baby daughter to sleep for nap time while your 2 yr old (who is potty training) is watching TV. Then you hear a toilet flush in the bathroom and dread washes over you. After the baby is asleep, you go to the bathroom and find your son in the bathroom with no clothes on. He tells you, “I had an accident (poopy) but I cleaned it all up myself!” It’s all over him, the floor, the toilet, the tub, the wall…sonofabitch
Keeping this in mind…we were playing at the park one day when Mason was about 2.5, and I think we were there a couple of hours. When we got back home, I smelt something stinky. Mason had an accident. So I took him upstairs to change him. When I took off his underwear, his bottom was red. I told him:
Me: Mason honey, your bottom is red. I have to clean it to get the poop off, but it’s probably going to hurt a little bit.
Me: Because you had an accident at the park and you didn’t tell Mommy, so I didn’t know. You HAVE to tell Mommy if you have an accident because if the poopy stays on your butt then you get booboos. So since you didn’t tell Mommy you needed to go potty or that you had an accident, now it’s going to hurt a little when I clean it.
Well, can you blame him? But that was the day I had to teach him about “adult words” and what words are not appropriate for 2 year olds.
By the way…I also say Goddamnit. This one happens when you drop something on your foot, break a glass, or step on the dog. It is said much faster and goes like this:
GOD pause damnit.
Mason came home from school one day during the “adult words” training phase and we were in the kitchen. He dropped his cup of juice on the floor:
Mason: God damnit! Oops! I sorry Mommy! We say “Oh my goodness” instead.
Hmmm, I didn’t teach him that. So…that means he must have cussed at school and they told him to say Oh my goodness. Yikes! Mason goes to a small mother’s day program run by a Baptist church. I really can’t think of anything more degrading than a group of little ol’ church ladies knowing I taught my son to curse in God’s name. But the irony of the situation is still pretty hilarious.
Lastly, there was apparently a time when Mason cussed in front of another family member. And apparently the family member, whereas they don’t cuss of course, thought the right thing to tell Mason to do was to say “stupid” instead. Not a good idea! Stupid is also a word now on our “adult words” list. After the incident happened, Mason was playing with a friend and the friend took a toy away from him.
Mason: Hey stupid Bobby! You stupid! (name changed)
Both I and the other parent heard it.
Other parent: Did Mason just call my kid stupid? (in an angry tone)
Me: I’m afraid so and I’m really sorry! I didn’t teach him that I swear! (put Mason in time out and added “stupid” to the adult word list)
Of course the irony is, if he had said the words he learned from me, it would have been even worse! But no, even “stupid” is not an appropriate word for a 2.5 year old.