Out Of The Mouths Of Babies
What the …?
I gasp every time my children say this phrase. My mind fills in the blanks for them with words that aren’t fit to print. Then I giggle.
My 6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter have picked up saying, “What the?” Thankfully, it stops at two words, not three.
I’m not quite sure where they picked up this habit, but it reminds me how impressionable young minds are and why it’s important to limit their exposure to words you’d rather they not repeat. In other words, parents need to watch what they say or show them.
Granted, that’s easier said than done.
I’ll never forget the time my daughter said a more adult version of “darn it.” She was 2 at the time and actually used the word in the proper context. Something didn’t work out like she wanted it to and she blurted it out.
I try my best to watch my mouth, so who was the culprit? Would you believe it was my mom? Yes, Grandma got frustrated with something and used the expletive around Hana. Talk about an awkward scenario. Not only did I have to tell my daughter to watch her mouth, I had to tell my mom!
Sometimes a seemingly innocent word can trigger a scolding from my children. “Mommy, you said a bad word.” That’s what they say to me when I inadvertently use the term “stupid.” Which in turn, makes me feel, well, stupid.
I’ve even experienced fallout from letting them watch a cartoon. They were cracking up watching the animated movie Croods. I was too, until our family went to a restaurant and out of nowhere, my daughter said to our waiter, “You’re fat.” Luckily, he was not overweight, but that’s beside the point.
My husband and I had to do damage control and explain she was just quoting a movie line. We also had to quickly get through to her that it’s inappropriate to tell anyone something mean like that. It seems she understood because she said she didn’t watch Croods again because it has mean words in it.
There’s another funny flip side to watching your kids pick up on what you say. Some of the expressions I use to diffuse arguments between the kids later come back to me. Oh, you know, things like “just ignore her” or “I don’t care.”
No words are necessary on some occasions. Lately, my son and daughter have started groaning when they’re frustrated with something. I was wondering where they picked up that habit. That’s when I responded with a frustrated groan of my own. Guess I can’t blame Grandma this time.