My kid recently dropped the f-bomb and much to my dismay, there was no mistaking it for "truck" or "duck" or quite possibly, "Help me, I'm stuck." The pronunciation was loud and clear and used in just the right context. It was unequivocally the f-word.
No need to scold me about what a terrible parent I am for teaching my child such offensive language. I've beaten myself up plenty. I readily admit that I have a potty mouth, but never in a million years did I think it was so bad that my 22-month-old would be reciting the f-word like a spelling bee champ.
I think I'm going to chalk this up to one big misunderstanding.
My husband and I are diligent when it comes to teaching our son appropriate vocabulary from the English language. Like subliminal messaging, we repeat random words throughout the day, hoping they will eventually sink in to his developing brain and one day end up in a string of words otherwise known as a sentence. We even try to insert words into scenarios that make no sense at all:
"Look at that piece of toast. Doesn't it look like a doggy? DOGGY. Can you say, dog-ghee?"
"This tree is the same color as an airplane. AIR-PLANE."
Sometimes, we get a response: "Aiw-pwane?" "Yes, baby. Airplane! That's right!" But most of the time, our attempts go unnoticed and our words are left hanging in the air.
Then, someone cuts me off on the freeway one day and almost kills me and my son. Scared out of my mind, I yell "f--k" and before I know it, my kid is in the back seat singing the "f--" word on repeat. Seriously, now he's going to start listening to me?
I do however, find it slightly ironic that he struggles with words like "truck," which is "tuk" in our house, but executes "f--k" with laser-sharp, crystal-clear articulation. And I have to admit there is a very small part of me that wants to congratulate him for his proper usage of the "F" sound, but I resist the urge and instead correct him and suggest a more appropriate response like, "Oh, no!"
But really, when you ask your kid where the kitty cat went and he tilts his head and replies with "Oh f--k," it's too hard not to laugh inside just a wee bit.
If I make a big deal, I'm afraid that will sound the alarm bells as a boundary that he should push. Because that is what toddlers do at this age when you tell them no -- they test.
So, in the end, I didn't do much about it. Yep, mother of the year award contender over here. I'm hoping he will tire of it or finally catch on to all of my alternative suggestions. In the meantime, I've invested in some industrial style ear muffs and I continue to pray that he doesn't display his broad array of vocab words in public. Unless of course it's "aiw-pwane" ;)
- The Confessioness