When Child One was born, The Husband and I were adamant we would curb our use of foul language and raise a polite and politically correct small human. How hard could it be? It's not as if we are common or anything, we don't swear that much...
Two and a half years in, and I am not proud to report that we are failing miserably.
Phrases my toddler has repeated, to date, include:
'For fuck's sake'
and the low point of our existence as parents: 'You're fucking joking.'
The latter, I am relieved to update you, was stamped out then and there when we looked quizzically at said child's declaration of 'you're fucking joking' and asked if he meant 'the Froggy's croaking.' He was delighted with this new expression, and continues to repeat it. At random. Thank The Lord for the Froggy and his croaking.
This same ill fated child, when he asked his mother where her willy was, was told 'girls have fannies instead.' (In my defence, I was caught off guard). He now potters around pointing out who has a willy and who has a fanny (with impressive accuracy). Sometimes he asks those he is in the company of which of the two 'bits' they are in possession of. Just last week our childminder had to let the parents of a lovely (and non-sweary) little girl know that she might repeat 'willy' and 'fanny' at home after our son talked at some length about their differences all day. Shame on us for having set in motion a wave of toddler corruption.
Then there was that incident with the Bristish Gas man. A hunkier than average chap turned up to service the boiler. Amidst the small talk and tea-making (the hunky ones always get a biscuit), my toddler loudly declared 'look Mummy, he's a MAN. Not got a fanny. Nope. No fanny.' Cue nervous laugher all round and a hasty exit.
We have, for now, ignored and stamped out the most severe of the naughty word chatter. We are having to let 'for god's sake,' 'oh god' and 'fat bum' go as the lesser of many possible evils.
And we are trying. How we are trying to watch what we say. But he picks things up having heard them just once. Sometimes they lie dormant for days and then pop out unexpectedly; usually at crowded social functions. He remembers. I once tentatively asked him where he had heard 'fuck's sake, man!' and he simply replied 'when the traffic light went red.' I wonder how old he will have to be before we can do what my parents did, and maintain that adults are allowed to use special 'Car Language.'
Lesson 29: Upon reflection, it turns out we are pretty common after all. Kids repeat everything. Be f***ing careful what you say.
The Unmumsy Mum