Monday Morning Mortification!

Considering my and my husband’s potty-mouth, I take full responsibility if Darling Daughter pops off with the F- bomb…   It’s not ideal, but it’s to be expected.  That is to say, we know where she learned it when I carelessly swear at a video game or something and she immediately parrots me.  Sometimes it’s even a little funny.  (And if you’ve never had to fight a laugh while chastising your kid,  maybe you need to lighten up some…)

But this morning Hubby told me something that mortified us both, and we’re both honestly puzzled as to where DD learned it.  He was changing her diaper this morning and she pointed to her private parts (which is exactly how I refer to them if I have to talk to her about them) and said “pussy.”

WHAT?!

Are you sure that’s what she said???

Yeah, that’s what she said…

That is not a word that gets regular play around this household.  There are some words even I, in all my profane glory, find distasteful.  It’s not generally a word that gets said in front of the baby unless we are talking about cats!   So how…in the hell…did she learn it in connection with genitals?

I’m going over it in my head… who else does she see on a regular basis? (hardly anyone.)  She doesn’t go to day care or pre-school, so she didn’t learn it there.  Even if we watch TV shows with cursing in them, they’re generally not pornographic…  So how did she link that word and that body part?

I didn’t actually hear the aforementioned nasty word myself, so, regardless of what hubby says, for the moment, I am going to assume either he misheard her or she wasn’t saying what he thought she was.  It’s better for my peace of mind.

Any other parents out there have similar experiences with their kids learning strange things from I don’t know where?

Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses

Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses

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Tabula Rasa

The written English language is pretty strange, a fact that is never more apparent than when you are teaching a small human to read.  My daughter is only 2 and a half, and even though we read to her a lot, and of course there are plenty of alphabet based books out there, I was still surprised to learn she had mastered the recognition of the entire upper case alphabet.  It happened when my back was turned, so to speak, the same as when I discovered she knew how to match shapes  (flash cards.)  I was trying to teach her how to put like colors together, and the next thing I knew, she was putting the shapes together.  I continue to underestimate her capabilities.

In the past couple of weeks, her speaking has taken off, and she often mimics words we say (much to our embarrassment, sometimes,) as well as echoing the tail end of songs from her favorite kids shows.  The point of this long intro is that it seems as if she will be learning to speak and learning to read simultaneously.

The favorite show of the day/week/month is Super Why!   For you non-parents or non-toddler having parents, Super Why! is a PBS kid’s show featuring characters who read, spell,and solve “super big” problems through the use of books (in this case, usually a spin on a common children’s tale like Humpty Dumpty or Aladdin.)

For now, we’ll just set aside the idea that even the littlest issue (like leaving the water running) is a “super big” problem.  As it goes, Super Why! is a pretty good kid’s show.  And now that J* is proudly recognizing letters everywhere, from Nike sweatshirts to the “input” channel on the TV, she loves this show.  No matter what hubby and I are watching or playing, J* is hovering around, waiting to steal the controller with her lilting request to watch “Boy? Boy? Boy?” (She calls it this because of when I taught her the main character was a little boy.)

As I sat on the couch this morning, cuddling with my sick little snuggle bug and watching her favorite show, I was again reminded of how strange English can be.

We were learning to spell “kick,” to help the little duck in the story learn to swim.

Princess P asked , “What letter makes a keh sound?”  The answer she was looking for was of course “K.”

It was around this point I began to ponder what a useless letter “C” is.

What words start with C?

Cat. Car. Cane. Crown.  They all begin with a “hard” C.  Why don’t we spell them kat,kar,kane,krown?

How about Ceiling, Cease, Cement?  They’re soft C’s that sound the same as an S (esss.)  So why not Seiling (or better yet “seeling,”) sease, sement?

So what function does a C serve that can not either be served by a K or an S?  Why does the alphabet even have a C? I’m sure there’s a reason.  I just don’t understand the logic behind it.

Then when you consider “long and short vowels” and words with silent letters like head, kick, read (which can be either “reed” or “red”,) kneel, and basically any word that ends in a silent “e,” it’s a wonder anyone ever learns to read.

Really, it seems that learning to read English is only 2 parts phonetics, and the other third is simply rote memorization of the rules of linguistics and grammar.

Apparently, at her school, one of my nieces is being taught to read without phonics.  I’m assuming she is being taught the whole language method.  If I had to guess, I would say the way most of my peers learned to read was probably a combination of both, taught at age appropriate levels.

In any case, my child is a blank slate, eager to be filled with new words and experiences, and I think she is already on an early path to reading.  However she learns to read, I hope takes her everywhere she wants to go, and that she enjoys reading as much as her father and I.

photo credit: quickmeme.com

photo credit: quickmeme.com

“Uck”…Uggghhh

And the Parent of the Year award goes to…

While I won’t be winning any awards this week (or singing “We Saw Your Boobs,”) I’m also sure I’m not the only parent that still has a potty-mouth.  I know a lot of people feel that they won’t change when they have kids.  Well, for obvious reasons, if you don’t change at all– even if in just a few very fundamental ways– you’re probably a dick who shouldn’t have had kids in the first place.  You put your children first, you love them unconditionally, you are more fiercely protective of your child then you have ever been of anything or anyone else…ever.

Some people maybe do a 180–  they fall headfirst into the mommy or daddy role (perhaps much to the chagrin of their single or childless friends.)

Aside from that, some people change very little.  They generally enjoy most of the same past-times (even if they don’t get to enjoy them as often,) they probably still dres,s the same, act the same… speak the same.

Yep… I have always fervently defended my right to curse.  I usually temper it slightly depending on company, but for the most part, I iz me, and me cuss a lot!   You can deny it all you want, but in my opinion, saying “schizzle-nitz!” or whatever, when you crack your little toe on the coffee table at night just does not help you feel better comparable to an explosive “Fuck!”  I also maintain that you’d have to say “shit” three times to get the relief of one good “fuck.”

But anyway… so my daughter J* is picking up words pretty rapidly now…new words every other day.  And a still lot of that toddler jabber that only she understands.  On occasions, hubs and I have heard things that sound suspiciously like curses, but as they are often apropos of nothing in particular, we really just can’t be sure…

Is she saying “shit,” or “sit?”  in toddler-lisp?

I guess you all know where this going…

Last night, I was playing Resident Evil.  Hubs and J* were each doing their thing.

Something annoying happens in the game; I probably got grabbed or knocked down but some gooey, deformed something-or-other.  And I hissed, “Fuck!”

And like an echo, I hear off to my right, “Uck!”

Hubby and I look at one another– we’ve probably been in denial until now– and he says gently to J*, “Don’t say that word,baby.”

I add, “That’s a big girl word.”

And hubby amends “That’s a bad mommy word.”

*glare*

Well…we have no one to blame but ourselves…  we curse a lot.  I’d almost say we like to curse.  Some people will get all snooty and say cursing is a sign of someone with a weak vocabulary.  I assure you, that’s not the case here.  My vocabulary is fine…better than fine, I’d wager (but to you Pious Pollys, thanks for your concern over my alleged impoverished vocabulary and its implicit reflection on my morality.)

But anyway…  it got me thinking about the concept of curbing my tongue again.  I’m rather fond of something my step-grandfather used to say– “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Are you going to go to bed at 7:30, just because your kid has to? No, because you’re the adult.  Does setting a good example mean you can’t have a candy bar before dinner because your child can’t? No, because you are the adult, and you know you’ll still eat your dinner.  Kids can’t drink, adults can.  If you have friends over for a game of cards or Sunday football, are you not going to have a beer because your kid can’t and you “want to set a good example?”  Not likely.  And as long as you’re not raging drunk, there should be no issue with that.  Well, you get the point.

However, I’ll not deny the merit of setting good behavioral examples.  And I plan to set a good example for my child—  kindness, compassion, fairness, (kindness to animals,) respect for elders, manners (holding doors, offering seats, tolerance, etc.) are all things I hope she learns by my and my husband’s examples.

Some might argue that language (particularly foul language) is a behavior.  And maybe I’m a hypocrite because I yelled at my neighbor for saying the N-word in front of my kid.  I guess I do draw the line somewhere.  She is two and while it may be embarrassing to hear her repeat the F-word, the N-word is not something I want her repeating.  No one should say it.  And I’d rather have people thinking I am uncouth by cursing around my child, than a racist twat.  After all, where would they assume she learned that word, if not from being around others who say it?

So I suppose, like anything else in parenting, your decisions regarding “cussing” in front of your kids is fairly relative or subjective.  All parenting decisions are personal so long as the child is not in physical or emotional danger.

I’m curious though–  to my fellow potty-mouth parents (or those with similar vises that we might not want our toddlers mimicking) …what are your tactic for dealing with the dreaded “Uck!”