When we found out we were pregnant, one of the first things my husband said to me was “you’re going to need to reign in your trucker mouth.“
It’s true. I was raised with three brothers and could likely hold my own with sailors.
It didn’t feel like much of a concern back then. It didn’t even feel like much of a concern for most of her first year.
Now she is 2.5 years old. It is a concern.
We don’t actually have an issue with her swearing at all. I have actually gotten pretty good with my filter when I am around her. Surprised even myself with that one!
However, she does pick up every. other. little. thing.
The majority of the time, it is just plain funny. Like when her father, being the typical boy, tackles both her and I and licks our faces. Disgusting.
As a result, this was his morning wake up call today.
|He had it coming.
Other times it is not so funny. Like the incident a few months ago. The one where during a completely frustrating morning, Lilly overheard me mutter “I’m going to kill your father.” I didn’t mean it…mostly. I’m not proud that I said it, let alone that she heard it.
Fast forward a few months time and I still hear her saying to her teddy bears & dolls, “I’m going to kill you fauder.”
Lock up your stuffies Moms and Dads. I have a murderous 2 year old on my hands.
I have tried many times to explain that is not a nice thing to say and that Mommy should not have said it, but that just fuels the fire.
I want to take a moment to point out that I am not the only culprit of destroying her development.
Often times when I leave in the morning I jokingly tell Lily that she needs to keep an eye daddy. I tell her to make sure that he’s a good boy. She grins (the rush of ultimate power going to her head) and always says, “okay mommy!“
Daddy playfully responds by saying, “no, let’s make messes!” I shoot him a mild grin, laced with a good solid warning. And then he adds “let’s draw the wall!“
And then she did draw on the walls. And I was pissed.
So the next time he said it, I reacted and smacked him on the arm. Adding through gritted teeth “knock it off“
I mean seriously! What kind of message is he trying to send her?!
The next thing I know Lilly, with a grin on her face, is smacking Daddy across the arm.
This clearly isn’t working.
Living with toddlers, you are constantly biting your tongue and holding back a knee-jerk reaction to every situation. You just never know what they will pick up, but you need to bank on it being pretty much everything.
I don’t imagine that this gets any easier as they get older either, but at least then they should be able to distinguish sarcasm.
There is a also a delicate balance around how you react to something they have picked up. Whether they heard it from you, TV or some kid at daycare/school, how we react as parents can have more damage than the actual phrase itself. Making a mountain out of a mole hill, so to speak, can lodge that phrase or behaviour in your little ones head stronger than hearing it in the first place.
This balance is something I know I need to work on. My friends had bought me a keychain that said “Drama Queen” for a reason when I was a kid. I know full well that I need to work on my parenting poker face.
What really baffles me, is that she can hear, see and remember every little thing that Mom and Dad does in the house, yet I have to ask her about fifty times to come to the dinner table…
Ideally speaking, as parents, it would be fantastic if we could just control the selective hearing of our children.