When Bad Words Happen to Good Kids (#1)
I am not particularly "dirty" in my speech; nor am I squeaky clean. While I believe that words have power, I also believe that any particular word only has the power that we choose to assign it. Even so, when LG began to imitate our speech, Jif and I became very careful about what words we used. We were never ones to curse at each other in anger or call names, or anything like that. Just the occasional "excited utterance" at the occurrence of a stubbed toe, a broken dish, that sort of thing.
I thought I had completely eliminated any words that I would not want LG to whip out in polite company, but one day when she was about three, I realized I wasn't as "pure" as I liked to think I was. We were in the car, and she was happily coloring in the backseat, in her carseat, as we drove along. Then she says, not too unhappily, "I dropped the green! Well, isn't that a dammit?!"
Did I hear what I think I heard? "Isn't that what, baby?"
Very matter-of-fact reply, "A dammit."
"LG, what is 'a dammit'?"
She rolls her huge green eyes. "Mama, you know what a dammit is. You know, if you drop something, or if something doesn't work properly, we call that a 'dammit.' You know that!"
Yes, I do. I didn't go into a "bad words" talk; I just resolved to say something else when I dropped something or when something didn't work properly. And I did so, and she copied whatever my new expression was, as well, and the "dammit" disappeared from her vocabulary. But even now, if she's not around, you might hear me say, "Well, isn't that a dammit!" Because that's just too cute not to say.
Tune in another time for more good kids/bad words stories. I've got a few. And tell me some of yours!