Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fowl-mouthed Bird

I'm not a big cusser. Compared to some of my siblings I barely cuss. And compared to my Great-Grandma Minnie and Great-Grandpa Don, I am probably a saint. My mom said that those two used to cuss each other up and down so much that it would put sailors to shame (or something like that). Ironically, both of their sons served in the Navy. Perhaps it's because it's what they knew.

So while I do not cuss a lot, I do say, "shit" a lot. I tired of saying "crap." Shit just sounds better to me.

JB has warned me about cursing in front of the Bird. I agreed that it is not good to teach children to swear. That's a lesson better learned from their peers, leaving Mom and Dad to tell you that it's wrong. Even if Mom and Dad used to curse, too.

So I decided that the first time Olivia repeated a curse word would be the last time that I swear around her. Why didn't I stop sooner? I wasn't very motivated to find a replacement word to express my feelings. None of the other ones felt right. In short, I was lazy.

Olivia has been mimicking us for a while now, so I was surprised that she hadn't picked up on "shit." Then Saturday came. With it came Aunt Annie for a visit, and a desire for Olivia to try out her new saying, "Oh shit." She first said it when we were getting breakfast ready. Something caused her to say, "Oh no! Shit!"

Yes, it was very funny.

But then she kept saying it! And we kept trying not to laugh.

I thought that she'd try it out a couple of times and then move onto another saying. This little girl tries out lots of words these days, often abandoning them after a few tries. But apparently Shit just felt right. Because she said it again and again and again.

All weekend.

"Oh no! ...Happened? (meaning, 'What Happened?')... "Shit!"

Annie and I were able to keep the secret from JB until Sunday. Then he and Annie saw Olivia trip and fall to her knees.

"Ohh, SHIT!"

Oh shit is right.

She said it probably a dozen times on Saturday and nearly as many on Sunday. I've started to encourage her to say, "Rats!" instead, which she's trying out. I thought we getting in the clear until last night she yells the S-word out in front of our dinner company Joel, a college student at Calvin.

Now even though he goes to a Reformed Church college, he still thought it was funny.

But I don't think that everyone will.

And unfortunately, she is also learning about utensils and likes to say, "fork," randomly. Which she pronounces "foke" in her little baby voice.Which can sound like the f-word if you don't know what she's referring to.

Fokes, we could be up $&^* creek without a paddle...

8 comments:

Annie said...

I will let the record show that even though I do take to cursing a lot. I did not curse this past weekend, other than in reference to Olivia saying the S-word. (At least I don't recall and tried very hard not to use any bad language in front of her)

April said...

I agree that you did not curse. So you did not instigate it. I take on all blame! Eee!

Haller4307 said...

oh no! i wonder if you ignore it and stop saying it if she will stop. it seems like things i forget to reinforce with my kids, just stop being interesting to them. case in point, jesse was singing a chinese song for a month and then we learned something new and he and i both forgot about the line he liked from that song.

teaglebee said...

I have even kept my swearing to a minimum around O!

April said...

@ Lisa: I have since ceased to use the word completely, and instead say "Oh RATS!" in hopes of encouraging her to say that. So hopefully you're right! :)

rlbreflections said...

I read this a few days ago...and have been laughing about it on and off all week. Mine was "the 'D' word" - used rarely...but Gracie picked up on it at 2 and used it when she slipped down the last couple of stairs in our house. I remember Tom's look - HA! His look might have been worth my horror.

Love,
Aunt Rhonda

rlbreflections said...

I read this a few days ago...and have been laughing about it on and off all week. Mine was "the 'D' word" - used rarely...but Gracie picked up on it at 2 and used it when she slipped down the last couple of stairs in our house. I remember Tom's look - HA! His look might have been worth my horror.

Love,
Aunt Rhonda

Michigan Girl said...

I've tried to swear less myself, in preparation for having kids in the house, plus I'm around others' kids a lot, but man, once you're in the habit, its hard to break! Good luck with all that!