My twenty-one-month-old daughter Annie is a total mimic. This is awesome when she is repeating a family member’s name or something cute (and seasonal) like “pumpkin,” but it is not so cute when it is something a little less cute like…. the “F” word.
Mike and I are not big swearers, I promise, but we must have dropped an “F” bomb in front of her at some point (or a relative did… we’re totally not above framing Aunt Leah for this), and now she repeats it… well, if not all the time, TOO much. From the moment this started we made a big show of yelling, “No! Don’t say that!”, and unfortunately it has had the opposite effect on her. I think she now likes to say it to get the big reaction.
Our shame had been our own secret recently until Gramma and Bampa were over with their friends. We were all admiring how darling and innocent Annie is when she suddenly said, “F%$!” We laughed and I ooooooh so casually said, “I have no idea where that came from! She must be repeating something she heard on the playground.” That seemed to be a good enough cover until, later as they were all about to leave, Annie dropped her toy on the ground making a loud clatter. “F%&#!” She cried. My mom frowned and said, “Something she just heard once, aye? And yet she knows to use it in the correct context.” “Oh you know kids today,” I responded weakly.
Ever since that day we’ve been substituting “Ah, nerds,” whenever something goes wrong, but Annie has yet to use it. Perhaps “Ah, nerds” isn’t the best. Fiddlesticks? Crikey? Doh!
Help us out, folks. We are on the market for a new swear word.