3B is babbling up a storm, but doesn’t clearly say any words right now beyond “mama” and “dada,” which he occasionally uses to refer to Mama and me. As he gets closer to actually talking with, like, words and syntax and stuff, we’re starting to become a little more aware of and get a little more scared of our own potty mouths. OK, to be honest, they do sometimes devolve into drunken-sailors-in-a-bar-brawl mouths, like when that @#$%&! nearly ran down Mama, 3B, and Barky in the crosswalk yesterday.
For the most part, however, it’s just the occasional slip of the tongue. Then again, that’s all it takes for a kid to go astray, start cursing, then move on to more depraved activities, like burping, farting, and eating Oreos without milk. Even worse, when he grows up, he might become a foul-mouthed blogger (one can only hope).
I know from experience that it doesn’t take much. Growing up, we never cursed in my house. Nobody did. OK, except Dad, when he was really mad about something, which is when those years in the Navy really paid off. But somehow, in second grade, I was busted twice in one week for saying”shit” on the playground. Granted, it was appropriate, in context, and gramatically correct, but Mom was not impressed.
I know that I’m not the only parent struggling with this issue, and I’m not the first to blog about it. I’ve even got adult readers–and a new one too, so I might have to bump my readership numbers to seven–who are struggling with whether or not to curse at their job. And it really is a dilemma for me, since I agree with George Carlin that there are no such things as bad words. Words are merely tools, and their value is determined by their utility. Then again, as Ani says, “every tool is a weapon if you hold it right,” so words can be used to hurt, and to express ugly thoughts.
So, what to do with 3B? Teach him that certain words are bad? Teach him that we don’t use certain words? Let him say whatever the hell he wants, ensuring long afternoons in the principal’s office for him and frequent parent-teacher conferences for us?
Any suggestions, insights, and cute stories about your kids cursing inappropriately that you’re willing to share are welcome. Especially before our little !@#$%$@# really starts talking.