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Soapy Mouth Syndrome
by Bonnie MeyerRosa
Today let’s talk about “naughty” words. Specifically “naughty” words that the little cherubs start to use at a very young age.
These words are not part of the vocabulary that you spend so much time practicing with them.
These are not the words that you hear on the DVDs you buy, to encourage your 2 month old to become a “Baby Einstein.”
These are not the words that they are saying by accident because they can’t pronounce things yet - like saying “fuck” instead of “truck.”
These are the words that your child spews out in the middle of CVS or at church that leave you stunned, embarrassed, but laughing your ass off on the inside.
Let me set the scene...it is Christmas time. We are at church with my son PJ who is 2 ½. at the time. The beautiful carols are being sung and candle lights are glimmering in the sanctuary. My family steps up to the altar to take communion and we have decided to let PJ hold his own candle. That right there was our first mistake, by the way. He proudly walks up to the altar, his bright blue eyes sparkling with happiness. He extends his arm for his candle to be lit.
Before we can even reach down to help him the candle slips out of the holder and falls to the floor. No big deal. As I am reaching down to grab it my beautiful child yells out, “DAMMIT!!”
Even writing this just now my chest tightened up and my face turned bright red. I look at the husband who is about to burst out laughing and give him that “if you dare laugh I will kick you in the balls right here in church” look and reach down to get the candle. No one else seems to have heard, that is what I tell myself. The rest of the evening proceeds without incident.
For the next few weeks we are on a “DAMMIT” rampage. Every time PJ drops something, trips, his favorite show isn’t on, etc. he screams out “DAMMIT!”
He comes home from the babysitter one day and says, “Miss Evelyn says that God doesn’t like Dammit." I guess he is using it at daycare too! We try to explain to him that it is not a nice word to use and he, with all the innocence of his age says, “you say it too. Mommy.”
It hits me then that even though the DVDs aren’t teaching him these words he is obviously learning them from somewhere...and it’s me. Though let’s not let the husband off the hook. He uses the “real bad” words. Now I am not one to swear without reason. Yes, I can remember dropping the grocery bag and saying, “dammit” and I remember tripping over the dog and saying it then, too. I guess little ears pick these things up!
Now these words have come and gone through the years. PJ, now 5 ½, knows which words are appropriate and which ones to avoid. Just to clear things up, he also thinks that “shut-up” is a bad word. He has gotten soap a few times, like when I asked him to pick up his sneakers and he said, “you do it, bitch”.
That was the last time that was ever said that and it was also the last time he watched a “bad” movie with Daddy while Mommy was shopping!
Lately we seem to be in a phase where he uses them to get our attention. Like when he told me that his lunch sucks. Or like last week when we were driving home from vacation. Joking around, my husband smacked me on the arm. PJ yelled, “if you hit her again I will say shit”. Of course, Jay taps me again and from the back seat we hear, “shit...shit, shit, shit.”
We laugh for a second, PJ laughs because he knows he isn’t in trouble. Then a very quiet voice starts chanting...”shit, shit, shit, shit.” It gets louder and becomes melodious - a “shit” song. It is our daughter, the 20 month old, who we thought was asleep.
It’s not so funny anymore....and the cycle continues.
Bonnie put $127.45 in her swear jar this week alone