The day has come where our lack of morality is showing itself through our child. Declan has discovered cussing. So far, he’s steering clear of the Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television (NSFW or Kids), but he has dropped the “dammit” bomb a few times, with the first time being at Target in front of some poor old woman. We are handling it the way parents have for generations: trying not to laugh and telling him that’s not an ok word to say.
But I’m realizing there’s more to “bad words” than just cussing. For example, recently he showcased his listening skills by sighing and going “I swear to God!” every time I asked him to do something. I realized he was totally picking that up from me, therefore proving that despite his actions, his hearing IS, in fact, fine, but that I needed to watch my mouth. I told him that the phrase wasn’t nice and that he shouldn’t say it and Mommy and Daddy shouldn’t either, so we can all help each other say better things. I’ve switched him to saying “I swear to goodness!” most of the time, although yesterday he pulled out a “I swear to dammit!” and I realized that 3 year olds aren’t very bad-ass.
I’m now petrified that when he starts school in a couple of weeks, he’s going to rattle off all kinds of goodies that he’s been storing up and we are going to be THAT family that no one’s kids are allowed to hang out with, like The Addams Family or the Bundys.
But then I started thinking about what all qualifies as a bad word. Like, is “oh crap” acceptable for a 3 year old? What about “shoot!”? Or the fact that Declan’s favorite word right now is “Weinerbutt,” is that wrong? If it is, we are screwed. We call each other “weinerbutt” and “boogerbutt” and “boogerhead” all day long. How’s that going to go over at the Play-Doh station? Probably not great.
Overall, Declan has pretty good manners, despite his foul-mouthed parents. He says “please” and “thank you” without being asked, says “excuse me!” when running you over and he always apologizes after having a tantrum in public. But I’m thinking we need to curb the “what rhymes with fork? I know! Dork!” conversations, along with announcements regarding bathroom habits and gas expulsion. Or invest in Orbit chewing gum to clean up our dirty mouths.