One of my many fails as a mom was my inability to control my potty mouth when Molly was a baby. She had been verbal for way too long as swear words were still flying from my mouth as easily as saying “how was your day?”. In my defense, I did share a rocking chair with my blue mouthed Grammy until I was 6. Some things were bound to wear off on me. Then it happened. My 2 year old said “Jesus Crazus” which was her interpretation of “Jesus Christ”. The bad part was is that I found it somewhat amusing. Not because of what she was saying but how she was saying it. There was a string of exasperation that went along with it, “Oh my! Oh my goodness! Oh my gosh! Oh my Jesus Crazus!”. Plus, she had a look on her face that she knew she was saying something taboo. However, we couldn’t have her blurting this out at Christian Preschool, so we did what all good parents do when their toddlers say things they shouldn’t, we ignored the behavior.
Only the behavior only got worse.
At first she banged her head into the door and said “shit” as she walked away. I couldn’t hide from that one, she was imitating me. But it didn’t end there. I was explaining to her about God, she asked “like God Dammit?”. I said “well, yes, but he doesn’t use his last name”. This one could’ve been either Stampy or myself, but it was probably me. Still, we were trying to ignore the words as they came out. I mean, if you don’t react to the behavior should stop, right??
Nope. It gets worse.
My sweet little girl said it. She said the F bomb. She used it correctly. Then she said it again. And Again. And Again. In fact, last year on our
vacation trip she shut herself in the bathroom and preceded to scream it at the top of her lungs multiple times. We tried ignoring it, she said it more. We tried explaining it wasn’t nice. She continued to say it. The problem when your child is smart is that they know from day 1 that it isn’t ok, and that’s why they do it. And when we ignored it she would keep saying it until we would address it. We were trapped. We were trapped in a F’in horrible situation. We didn’t know what to do. I think they only thing that really worked was divine Jesus Crazus intervention and she eventually moved on to something else to get our attention. Like strangling her brother.
We had our sweet mouth girl back.
Then she turned 4. And the words have become worse.
Shut Up and Stupid.
Now, I might have a potty mouth but I don’t have a mean mouth. We have limits in this house and those 2 words are definitely on the not-under-my-roof-you-don’t type list. I even skip over those words in the Berenstein Bear books. We have had several talks and time outs for using “mean words” and I think it’s working. Last night Molly said “Mom, I’m not going to say shut up. I’m going to tell you that S-H makes the ‘sh’ sound and that’s the sound that begins shut up” and continued with her dinner. Yup. She gets it. And she gets how she can get away with saying the black listed words without getting into trouble. She’s 4. I have a long road ahead of me.
What words on your “black list”?