I’ll be the first to admit (if my husband hasn’t called me out already) that I don’t edit my language as much as I should around my kids. I’m passionate and dramatic and get caught up in the emotion of the moment. Next to having an excuse to drink beer, those are some of my favorite things about being Irish.
I’m afraid my lack of a filter has resulted in my kids saying things they most definitely shouldn’t. In fact, at the innocent age of two, Big said one word so clearly, commonly and in the right context, I was able to catch it on video. You can imagine my relief when I realized the “s” word he got in trouble for saying at preschool was just “stupid”. (Which, by the way, I really don’t say, so he didn’t get that one from me.)
While all of this may make me chuckle (a lot), it doesn’t make me proud. But let’s face it. All of us use exclamations when we’re surprised, frustrated or in pain. Some people sweeten their words—they’ll say fudge or sugar. Others jazz them up and dumb them down—think sheizer and doh. But every now and then you hear an exclamation and can’t help but wonder, where’d they come up with that?
A few months ago I noticed that Big said the same word through gritted teeth whenever he was frustrated. I could never decipher it (and was just relieved it didn’t sound anything close to my signature “damn it” anymore), but I tried to explain that we don’t talk that way (hello pot, meet kettle). We take a deep breath and ask for help. Not so shockingly, it continued. One day my curiosity got the best of me.
Me: “What are you saying?”
Big: “MAY. IN. AISE. You know, like you put on a sandwich!”
While most of my family would wonder how he could take the condiment we worship’s name in vain, I couldn’t help but think this is about the healthiest way to use mayonnaise. Of course I want my kids to learn to be level headed and cool under pressure like their dad. (Oh how I want that for them.) But I also want them to be able to express themselves and blow off steam as harmlessly as possible until then.
So I’ll keep working (really working) to tame my short fuse and lead by example. But until I do, I’ll give my kid mayonnaise.
Oh, I think my oldest and your oldest are destined to be friends! Eli makes up his own bad words, or combination of words he uses when frustrated. So far our favorites are “pickles and pop” and “marf”. I too, am guilty of potty mouth and we have had several, um, interesting moments in very public places when my boys share what they have learned. When my oldest was 2.5 years old we were walking out of a crowded building when he looked up and shouted, “Jesus Christ, it’s an airplane”. We live in the Midwest, people were HORRIFIED…I laughed the whole way home.
Sam, I wish our boys could meet. From your stories I can tell we both have very sweet boys, with rather creative ideas and vocabularies! They certainly keep us laughing…even if others don’t find them as funny.
Yeah… We try to encourage the term, “oh Nuts!” And Matt tries to steer him towards “darn it”, but I think that’s way too close to the real thing.
However, one day he did blurt out “for the love of God!” oops.
Somehow getting the innocent ones to catch on just doesn’t seem to happen as naturally, right?! At least we’re trying.
Lizzy has been saying, “Oh, pish” (from the book Chrysanthemum) which she intends to mean, “nevermind” or to dismiss something. The problem is that it always comes out, “Oh, piss.” Somehow that just doesn’t have the same ring………
Amy N says
That is really funny…that made me chuckle:>
The good news is, in your case, people would never think she learned it from her mom. Her mom’s friend, maybe… 🙂
Ashley says the exact same thing because we are reading that book too!! Her other favorite exclamation is “Oh My Lord!” which is super awesome when she says it in front of our friend that is a nun!
See Kristin, you put yourself in that position by befriending a nun. I know better!
My 4.5 yo keeps telling his sister, friends, and mother (me who inadvertently taught him this)… “friend, you’re killin’ me!” love the other stories too! Hilarious!!
Too funny. I think my husband says that to our kids about 5 times a day. I’m feeling like maybe we need to reign it in more than I realized!
Amy, I love your posts. My experience with this involves my nieces. When my oldest niece was about 3, my sister and I were driving with her, and my sister took a left and clipped the center divider in the road. From the back of the car, from her car seat, all we heard was “F*&C Mom! You gotta be more careful!” My middle niece, at around age 4 was picked up from preschool and getting into her car seat. She knew how to put the belts on and then we would snap her in. She was whining and struggling and whining some more and finally, my sister said “Emily, I cannot tolerate your whining. You are a big girl. Use your words and Mommy will help.” With that, Emily said “Mom, my f***ing car seat doesn’t work!” Truly, Aunt Kate is equally to blame as Mommy is with the colorful language (and we blame our Irish genes as well!!)
Kate, I keep laughing about this one. I can only imagine (well, we’ve come alarmingly close so I don’t have to rely too heavily on my imagination). I love that she used her words to help solve her problem! She could be the poster child for my blog.
A certain little girl I knew picked up a some cute ones from her dad, such as “the damn-it-hammer”. Another was posed as a question, “Daddy, what’s a butt-in-the-pain?!?” These have become part of our family vocabulary and always bring a smile to our faces.
That little girl sounds really smart and her family sounds like a lot of fun! Damn, I love you guys. Even when you’re a butt-in-the-pain.