Many an experienced parent has warned us to be careful what we say in front of our toddler. After all, children are sponges and they have a remarkable way of quoting you at inopportune moments. That's the conventional wisdom, at least, but I have to say that until recently I haven't been too worried about it.
You see, my husband is not the swearing type. In all the years we've been together, I can count on one hand the number of times an expletive has escaped his lips. And, it should be noted that with the exception of one very colorful expression he used for our President, his verbal transgressions have fallen on the minor end of the expletive spectrum.
Like my husband, my language mostly falls under a G rating. Of course, there is at least one point during a day where the phrase "Oh shit" will come out of my mouth but, in general, I've tried very hard to keep myself in check.
Well, it seems that Aviva is giving me a bit of a reality check these days. The other night as we were walking into her bedroom and I was talking about something, she said "Shut up, Mama! My granddaughter (her imaginary friend) is trying to sleep." Excuse me? Did the words "shut up" just come out of my child's mouth? What heathen child on the playground taught her to say that?!?!?
Well, it wasn't a heathen child. It was me. Apparently, when I am on the phone with my sisters I frequently tell them to "shut up." No, not in the rude way. I say it in the "I can't believe it. Really?" way. I didn't even realize I was doing it until my husband pointed it out.
Unfortunately, Vivi's verbal experimentation doesn't end there. The other day when she slipped under the table after lunch, I gently inquired if she was pooping. Her response, "Mom. Get out of my face." That one we'll definitely blame on the heathens at the park.
Luckily for us, Vivi has also had some less shocking turns of phrase. After trying to unsuccessfully fit the cell phone into the camera case, she reluctantly sighed "Well, that's a bummer." This weekend, she grabbed a toy at the store and said, "This is freaking me out." And just yesterday while pooping she informed her daddy that she was "cooking something in my diaper."
In the last week or so, I am pleased to report that there haven't been any more repeats of the uglier comments. Vivi asks for her privacy instead of telling me to get out of her face. She does occasionally use "shut up" but it is in the context of "Mama, I no say shut up. Those words hurt your feelings."
I've learned my lesson too. No more hanging out with those heathens at the park!