Thursday, September 2, 2010

3 Reasons Not to Swear Around an 18-Month-Old

I figured out today why babies are so quick to copy cussin' when they won't say camel no matter how many times they are prompted (and are also convinced that a camel is just another kind of horse). It's because when a grownup person says a cuss word, they typically say it in a way that indicates that, yeah, they mean it. The volume, intonation, and facial expressions that a normally clean-mouthed adult uses when saying a naughty word that rhymes with, say, Chuck, are extremely compelling to the 18-month-old. Hilarious, even.

So of course they want to say it! If they can manage, they'll copy the same tone, volume, and look because, oh boy, mama or papa must be really excited about something. Has the Babby used any off-color words? *blush* Yep. Three times, in fact!

1. First, when I was trying to buckle her into her car seat and the straps were not doing what I wanted them to do, I said "What the h*&%?!" and the Babby smiled and shouted "H*&%!" Oops.

2. Then, when we were in Florida, and my potty mouth family is just cussin' away around her because that's what they're used to doing, my brother accidentally said "What the f*&%?!" and naturally the Babby echoed "F*&%!" At which point my bro slapped his hand over his mouth and muttered "S*&%." Uh, yeah.

3. And then this morning, when the Babbydaddy just could not get the car seat re-installed after taking it out to pick up family from the airport and I was running short on time and was going to be late to an MD appointment aaaaand one of the cats got out, he said "F*&%!" And he said it really loudly, too. Can you guess what the Babby said today?

Enough said. Really.


  1. We have not run into this particular problem yet. But I get unusually liberal with pottymouth syndrome when I'm pregnant, apparently, so now that he's finally hitting his stride with words I know it's only a matter of time. Hopefully, though, I'll be able to control myself for the few weeks I have left..because if things run like last time my pottymouth will mysteriously disappear when the baby is born.

  2. I'll cross my fingers for you! Pregnancy is def a good time to enjoy a pottymouth, but I feel like babies find cussin' that much more hilarious when the person saying the swears is emotional. My swear-happy family (dad's side) was cussin' all day long, but it wasn't until my bro said something emphatically that Paloma picked up on it. Thank goodness, or the f-word, the s-word, and so on would have been her new Florida faves instead of 'bird' and 'people.'

  3. My fave was when my 4 year old said, "son of a peach!"

    That was a close call :)

  4. Love it!!! Maybe I'll start saying that :)

  5. love this post. love it.

    just came by to say...
    thanks for stopping by on my sits day, a day that i needed just a WEEEE bit of extra love :) ur awesome!!!!


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