A few days ago, I was feeling quite fulfilled as a full-time mom. My two-year-old was singing her ABCs, counting 1 through 10, all while diaper-free (and pacifier-free, I might add, but that's for another post.) Sigh. 'My perfect child,' I thought.
Nearing lunch time (aka crabby time,) I fought the urge to take a shortcut. To hell with Easy Mac. I am Supermom, I am Wondermom. I taught my child the alphabet, to count, and I potty-trained her in a week, thank you very much. I will make her lunch from scratch.
So, there I was busying myself in the kitchen and Shorty was playing by herself in the living room. She would interrupt every now and then with a request so politely asked like "Apple juice, please," followed by an un-coached "Thank you." 'Oh I am so good at this,' I thought. I was so proud of myself for teaching my daughter to be a very courteous toddler, when I heard a crash followed by what sounded like, "Damn it!"
"What did you say?" I asked, non-threateningly. Just asking, really.
"I just playing with my blocks, Mom," she answered sweetly.
I let it go.
A few seconds later, another crash. Definitely followed by "Damn it, damn it, damn it." I was in denial. That doesn't sound like me, does it? I called her over with the intention of correcting the offending word while it was still fresh out of the horse's mouth. No answer. I called again. Nothing. The third time I called her name, I heard her shuffling to the kitchen saying "Okay, okay, I'm coming. Jesus!"
I was petrified. My two-year-old just said the Lord's name in vain and it was only noon. I left the mild blasphemy for another lesson, another day, but I bent down to her eye level and told her that 'Damn it,' was not a very nice thing to say.
She answered "Really Mommy? 'Bout shoot?"
I had to make a deal. Okay, I said.
In the days that followed, she seemed to use a wide range of expletives from 'oh my doodness' to 'oh my dosh,' and 'shoot,' but none of them offensive. Again, I felt a surge of parenting success until we were cruising along at the market and I steered that semi of a grocery cart (the one with the toy truck attached to the front end) into the toy aisle. Clear as a bell, Shorty exclaimed at the array of toys "Holy crap!" for all the world to hear, after which I caught myself saying under my breath, "Jesus!"
Crap, and I thought I was doing a good job.
Postscript: Shorty runs breathless from the office and tells me "I play Pacman on the pyooter, ghost eats pacman (she beeps like the computer in imitation of the sound when pacman gets devoured) then," she continues, "Daddy says 'Damn it!" slapping her forehead.