Lillian learned her first cuss word.
I knew it would happen one day. I cannot shelter her forever.
The part that makes me cringe is that I contributed to her new-found word.
I don’t cuss much. It is rare when I do it, and I sound dumb cussing. I don’t like cussing. It just makes me uncomfortable. However, so many people in my family do it, and I still love them. I just hate the habit.
Until I lost a post I had been working on for two hours. I don’t know what happened but my finger slid over some key on my keyboard and I had deleted my post. It was gone forever. A mighty nice, “Oh S-H-I-T!” came flying out of my mouth. Just brief enough and slightly loud enough that my daughter picked up on it.
I thought we had dodged the scenario. I apologized to her and told her “Mommy should have never said that”. I probably paid too much attention to it. Because she remembered.
Two weeks later, Brian got cut off, like four times in a row. Nothing makes that man lose his temper like crazy drivers, and he let out a “S-H-I-T, come on man!”. Then it came. A little, squeaky, “Oh shit”- from the backseat. Then, “oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit”- all in a whisper, all with a sly grin on her face as if she had discovered something shiny and new.
Then the clincher: “Dammit, I fawted”. (Farted, in case you are unsure).
Brian and I looked at each other with the widest eyes, mouths dropped, unsure of whether to laugh or cry.
We have been trying to not show much of a scene when she does it, and have calmly told her that she is not to use those words.
We couldn’t help but laugh. Then we had the talk. At first it was a blame session. “I told you we needed to stop cursing!”… “Oh yea, you taught her the first word!”…
Until we simply both recognized we messed up and that we need to clean up our language. ASAP. No matter if I hit my thumb with a hammer or get cut off on the highway by the worst driver ever. I don’t want to hold my daughter to a standard we don’t even hold! That is so hypocritical!
The truth is, I know she will hear it. I just want to be able to teach her lessons regarding language and self-control. I mean, how many people use the “F” word in a grammatically correct fashion to really make a poignant statement? Maybe here and there, (Mumford and Sons comes to mind), but she is two. She won’t get it anyways. Overall, cuss words are just empty filler words that mean something pretty raunchy and are used in moments of, ahem, lack of self control. In my opinion.
So, I don’t want us being her teachers of the diverse set of cuss words available to her. Rather, I hope we can teach her to use her words and find an array of lovely adjectives to describe how she feels. I want her to know Mom and Dad can control their tongues. I hope I can teach her to “not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”- Ephesians 4:29.
Parent fail. It happened. I am sure there will be more to come. Kids listen to everything. She understands more than I think she understands. It is both frightening and amazing how much influence we have over these little ones.
I hope your little ones manage to just say, “I fawted”, without adding a lovely curse word to really drive the point home.