January 12, 2016

Cursing Kids

Sailor Lo
Not too long ago my family was sitting at the dinner table with my parents, who were visiting, enjoying some delivered pizza when my two-year-old knocked over her sippy cup. Without hesitation she spit out, "deezuz tiest!" While righting her cup, my mother asked her to repeat herself because it takes a few days to get used to Marlowe speak and they had just arrived. My five-year-old was all to happy to help translate, "oh, she said Jesus Christ."

Thanks for your help on that one, buddy.

Luckily, my parents aren't the type to be offended and they suppressed a chuckle at our budding truck driver. Around our house this kind of language is not exactly permitted, but no one gets in trouble for saying words. I was actually kind of proud of her for using it in a "correct" way. The week before, she was saying "dammit" in a sing song voice as a response to questions like "do you like this dress?" So without instruction, she was making progress here.

I am a lover of words and the use of them to convey any emotion or thought to another person in hopes that they mean the same thing to them that they do to me. If you think about it, it's really a gamble to spout these abstract sounds into the ether and expect someone else to know what you actually mean. Know what I mean? These kids were non-native speakers just a few years ago and much of the time when they speak to us they are just throwing things at the wall to see if they stick. So I am really pro them launching whatever words they have in their rapidly growing arsenal to let us know what is going on inside those adorable little heads. Because since even before conception, I have been DYING to know.

Now, having said that, there are teachers and others who may be offended by my two-year-old swearing. I do not want to pretend like they can say any thing they want to just anyone. So around language use we have two rules.

1) Be careful the words you use to describe someone, because yes, words can hurt. So more simply - don't call people names.

2) There are some words that mostly grown ups use - Dammit, Jesus Christ, B has only dropped an effe bomb once and that was in asking if he could say it - so unless it's inside our house, be careful where you use them.

The kids seem to get it so far. Sometimes in the grocery store B will say, loudly - Lolo said dammit in public - but she'll catch on. Clearly, he already has.

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