My three year old little man has always been a talker. Most of his sentences make me glow with pride. "Mommy, may I please have some lunch now?" He is eloquent, even when he doesn't make sense. "The other side of the hot cider is hot." So I almost passed out when he was playing with his baby sister and dropped an f-bomb. "You f*!#ing little bean," he cooed to his sister in a sing song baby voice. I cocked my head, stunned.
I tried to stay calm, asking slowly, "Sir, what did you say?" He could tell by my face that I was on the edge of exploding, so he burst into tears and whined his shocking sentence again. "Sir, those are mean words, and you need to tell your sister that you are sorry!" I said firmly. I didn't know whether to rip him or laugh.
I told Bubba about it. "Where did he hear that?" Though Bubba's question wasn't exactly an accusation, it felt like one.
"Not me! I don't say that in front of him!"
"I guess, but I don't watch anything that bad in front of him. I might have slipped sometime..." I racked my brain, but couldn't think of a specific instance.
I was more careful with my words for the next few days, and the f-bomb was all but forgotten. Then, Bubba drove us all home from the Virginia Tech football game.
Bubba is an excellent driver, as he will be sure to tell you. However, he does not drive defensively; he most definitely drives offensively. Some might call it aggressively. When a little white car stopped in the middle of a busy intersection, he shouted, "Move, you f*!#ing moron!" The car was near silent as we turned, the only sound was Bubba muttering to himself about how people need to learn how to drive.
"Daddy, why did you say, 'you f!*#ing moron?'" came a tiny voice from the backseat.
We all froze. Then, I am not proud to admit, I could not stifle the laugh from my gut. Bubba took care of the scolding while I tried to control myself. "I said that?" he asked me quietly after he'd apologized to the kids and explained the mean words again. Apparently, Bubba's road raging outbursts are unconscious torrents, but at least I could assume it was not I who had taught Gray the f-word in the first place.
Once again, I naively thought preschool profanity was behind us.
Then, though, Gray was playing on the floor with Lily. He had leaned above her and was talking to her in a goofy voice. It was adorable until he asked, "What the hell are you doing, Lily?"
I'm pretty sure he got the h-word from me.
"Sir, what did you say?"
Again, his face crumbled, and he confessed.
Now, I feel like we've all fallen obscenely deep into a bad habit. I created a jar that we have to put money in when we use a bad word or a snotty voice. Nora caught me saying "stupid", and I sacrificed my dollar. I've sworn a lot-and for a long time. It has become a lazy, brainless habit. I want my kids to sound smarter than swearing, especially when they talk to babies!