Crap crap crap crap. I mean, damn damn damn damn.

by doodaddy on September 21, 2008

Boo drew busily on her magnetic board as Working Mom tucked her into bed tonight. This is only mild procrastination for her, mind you — she’s a champion at it. It happened that her rendition of ‘sparkly’ was unsatisfactory, and as she slid the erase magnet grumpily she announced:

“Damn damn damn damn damn.”

Now, at 2 1/2, Boo still can’t quite enunciate every word she attempts, so there was every possibility that she’d meant to say “Derivative!” or “Deluxe Posturpedic!” So my wife asked her to clarify.

“Daaammmmn!” Now she sounded like a suburban kid emulating ten-year old hip hop.

More to the point, she was cussing. Yipe.

Where did she pick that up? We’ve had lots of relatives about the place, but they’re usually mindful to stay away from the blue. And the one grandpa who slips up the most isn’t really a “damn” guy — he tends to more colorful terms. In Latin.

It could have been one of us, of course. I’m the more salty parent, but ten years of teaching has finely tuned my “don’t cuss now” filter.

The final option, then: did Boo learn this mildly vulgar word from her friends? She has been spending a lot of time with the 4-year old tribe at the playground; is it really possible that those angelic faces are uttering such precocious profanities out of earshot?

Nah, I refuse (perhaps against reason) to believe that of such sweet kids. I blame myself, or else the new “Sesame Street After Dark” episodes.

Now then, who can point me to the way you can “un-learn” these words from your kids? It’s easy, right?

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tagged as in faux pas,language ·

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan September 22, 2008 at 1:16 am

At least it’s only Damn. My daughter uses other more socially unacceptable words on occasion, although always in appropriate places so I tend to let it slide. I’m sure other parents judge us for this, but I’d rather my daughter say “bugger!” when she drops something than call another child “stupid” (which she knows better to do)


DC Urban Dad September 22, 2008 at 7:22 am

My nephew was oh so close to picking up the f bomb. My dad yelled to get something f out of here. He heard it and said, get the Opa did you say "Get the fox out of here?" We said YES.

My wife and I are working on our language.


Rattling the Kettle September 22, 2008 at 10:11 am

I’ve had mild success discouraging Ronen from repeating undesirable words by not responding to him when he uses them.

Although yesterday he did loudly proclaim DAMMIT when his cousin accidentally shattered my drinking glass against the floor. And I did laugh.

I’m a terrible parent.


Erica September 22, 2008 at 11:54 am

My kiddo isn’t talking yet but we plan to tell her that some words are for adults to use only. That approach worked for Kurt and myself as a kids and for his niece. ‘Adult’ words were of course used when out of earshot.


MommaBob September 22, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I used to be really good at watching my language, but now that I have kids it’s just getting worse and worse.

My first slip was a few years ago when I was nannying. I had just found out that someone had been forging checks in my husbands name over the holiday weekend.

I just started chanting, “sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.” At the time there was a two-year-old and a dog in the room. Two-year-old decided I was telling the dog to sit. PHEW!

There’s a great conversation with the parents, “taking your kid to the bank with me to sign forms for a few hours, uh, days. Oh, and I taught them how to swear, too. BYE!”

Then there was the day care. The toddler that learned to say duck, but her d sound like an f. The whole day care started going around saying duck, but not.

So, it could be worse!


Kyddryn September 22, 2008 at 12:45 pm

At the risk of being smacked upside the head – I wrote about this earlier this year, and while I would usually rather burn my hair than post a link…the link’s shorter than my take on this matter.

If you feel like blog hopping a little.

Shade and Sweetwater,


sugarplumsmom September 22, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Ooh I am guilty of teaching Sugarplum “damn”… she even sang a “damnit” song in the car once.. I did giggle under my breath while telling her that wasn’t a nice word and Mommy shouldn’t have said it and apologizing to her.

When she had fewer words she learned “fork”.. only she didn’t quite have the “r” part down… my mom could not have dinner at our house without laughing for awhile..


doodaddy September 22, 2008 at 4:55 pm

@Dan – Well, exactly — much better that they use the right word in the right way than, say, be mean or something. Although, “bugger” — does that mean what I *think* it means?


doodaddy September 22, 2008 at 4:59 pm

@Erica – Yeah, but I don’t really like that whole “only for adults” dichotomy. I use it when I absolutely have to — near open flames, say — but avoid it whenever I can. And in those cases I can at least give a reason. What’s the reason not to use a perfectly good word?


doodaddy September 22, 2008 at 5:04 pm

@Kyddryn – Oh, link away. Everyone has toddler cussing stories — I’ve got three or four myself, although up to now they’ve mostly been phonetic cussing only. (“Big hawk! Big hawk!”)

Toddlers Cussing: Gonna Get An Adult Rating…;
Toddlers cussing redux: In which Boobaby shouts porn in public; Fluctuating Crepuscular, and other nasty expressions.


doodaddy September 22, 2008 at 5:05 pm

@sugarplumsmom – Oh, yeah, the misheard curse word. Boo toddled around the zoo once saying “Big cock! Big cock!”



orlund September 22, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Well I guess I better practice saying only nice things then. My daughter is now 4 months old. Not sure how long that gives me to get into shape.


doodaddy September 22, 2008 at 5:30 pm

@orlund – You mean you weren’t watching your language while baby was in utero? Well, it’s already too late then…

AMR September 22, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Xav says “PUMP!” with the same fervor that most say “F***!”

Whaddya gonna do?!?


doodaddy September 22, 2008 at 6:31 pm

@AMR – Oh, now *that’s* a good idea — substitution!


Stella September 22, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Just wait until she knows how to read. Just up the street from us, on the way to our favorite sushi restaurant and the bus stop, the f-bomb is carved into the cement sidewalk. Jeffrey thinks it is simultaneously wonderful and horrible. And, more to the point, he shows it to us every single day. Life in the big city, huh!?


GoaldeeBug September 22, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Reminds me of the time my two year old niece ran her tricycle into a wire mesh door, making an ungodly sound, then mimicked her mother perfectly when she exclaimed with disgust “Oh THIT!”

The entire extended family were there and it took all our willpower not to scream laughing, I can tell you!


doodaddy September 25, 2008 at 5:38 pm

@Stella – Is Jeffrey the kid or the dad? Just curious…


doodaddy September 25, 2008 at 5:38 pm

@GoaldeeBug – Her mother’s got a lisp?


doodaddy September 25, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Just testing… in case you read this far.


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