I Am to Blame

Ian has started cursing casually.

It isn’t anything truly horrible. He hasn’t used M.F. or C.S. or anything like that, but he has been saying “Dammit!” a lot. This morning he was going with “Crap!” which isn’t exactly a curse word, but it isn’t really appropriate language for a three year old either.

The problem is this – it is funny and he knows it.

I try really hard not to laugh or smile, but it isn’t easy. The other day I said “Damn it, Ian.” (Yes, it is totally my fault.) And he said “Dammit!” and started chuckling.

Chuckling! Then he said “Awwww Christ.”

Then I started laughing. I couldn’t help it. Blasphemy! Out of a three year old! I personally am not offended, but we do have friends that have faith. I can only imagine what his his preschool teacher would think.

I wish I had been able to control myself, but it was really funny. He always says these things with a twinkle in his eye. He knows exactly what he is doing.

I try to explain to him that these are grown up words and they are not appropriate for children and they are not polite. This morning I think I actually told him that he could say that word when he was 18.

I’m the man. Keeping him down.

And he gets it.

And on the way to school this morning he was making up jokes. And the punchline was always “butt”. And he was cracking himself up. Claudia was laughing too.

The jokes didn’t even make sense, but after a while I started thinking they were funny too. I had to quickly change the subject before he went to school and started telling his butt jokes to the other children.

Yeah. He is probably doing that right now.


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  1. Yesterday my 4 y.o. said to my 6 y.o.–we don’t say shit. I yelled from the kitchen, hey we don’t use that word. Her response–yeah, that’s what I said!

  2. We have a similiar problem. When Aislinn started kindergarten, we did the Meet the Teacher night. As we were walking around checking out the various classroom accoutrement, she bursts out with, “Wow! Look at all this cool crap!”

    The teacher gave us The Look, and I quickly tried to hide my bad parenting by explaining, “Uh, she’s in speech therapy. She meant to say crafts.”

  3. That’ll be me one day, I’m sure. Since the Jesusy fiance will often have our child in church, I have a feeling I’ll be receiving calls from the Sunday school teacher.

  4. My almost 3 yr old just loves to drop the F-bomb while we’re out in public. Usually with nice, grandmotherly women standing nearby. And boy does she have that twinkle in her eye when she does it.

    Any other time, she’s the “Bad Word Police”.

  5. We were driving one afternoon when our son was about 2. Someone cut us off and my husband leaned on the horn. At the same time, my son said, clear as a bell, “Come on, asshole!”

    Um, yeah.

  6. My son came out with A-hole the other day. Not asshole. A-hole. And he SANG it. WTF?

    Feeling it here, babe!

  7. Like when Miles shouted “JESUS CHRIST ICE CREAM!” as we were leavingthe fair.
    Apaprently he WANTED ice cream.

  8. I just spent five minutes trying to figure out what
    Jesusy Fiance was.

  9. Sarah,
    My Daughter use to yell. ” you’re a SH#$ Fuc*ing Head” and yes in that order when she was 3. I was on the phone with the police dispatcher in our area. And I was so upset. She told me that “if all you have to worry about” in their life time is the use of “not so nice” words, Then you don’t really have much to worry about at all. My Kids are 18 and 20 and they learned to grow out of such behavior! Keep the faith, they will learn when and when not to use those words.

  10. When Diva Girl was 3 and 4, “dammit” was her word of choice, replacing “oops” and all other innocuous expressions of frustration. Fortunately, she mispronounced it “dummit,” so it wasn’t immediately obvious to outsiders what she was saying. Thank Christ, seeing as she attended the same Catholic school where I was teaching 5th grade.

  11. Oh come on, he’s not nearly as bad as my nephew. My SIL’s former husband thought it would be hilarious to teach his son to say the F word, as well as shit, mother F and asshole. As a former daycare employee, I warned him of what to expect when his ‘brilliant child’ got to preschool.

    Sept 8 (one day after he turned 3) he started preschool. Sept 8, his preschool career ended. Kicked out due to lousy parenting — he cussed out the teacher (thanks FORMER brother-in-law). The doofus has been married 4 times since then, twice to the same person. Thank heavens he no longer has ANY custody of our nephew (and the kid is a sophomore in HS with straight A s)!!!

  12. I used one of those words ONCE, and that was it when I was little at least not around my mother. There is 1 kid in clinic we see, she’ll cuss you out like a sailor kid you not and I’m like whoa…

  13. My son kicked the dryer one day and called it an “F-in dryer!”. He learned that from me. I was mortified, even though he only said it in front of Tom and me. I guess I was mortified that Tom knew the kid learned it from me. Because Tom certainly never deals with the f-in dryer.

  14. You should have soap for dinner.

    I don’t know why my kids haven’t picked up on the blasphemy yet. God knows I encourage it.

  15. You ain’t gettin any help from me in this regard.

    And “butt” is the best punchline EVER.

  16. My almost 3 year old daughter says “Oh, damn it!” every time she drops something, knocks something over, etc. It cracks me up, but she just started attending a catholic pre-school and I’m pretty sure THEY won’t find it funny. Must look into other pre-school options. Preferably ones that are not located in a church.

  17. My kids are older and crap seems to be a fairly common word in their circle of friends. Last year my 5th grader’s teacher used it fairly often, as did my 7th grader’s guidance teacher. But since I think it sounds crud, especially for my daughter, we started joking one night at the table and decided Crisp Ripe Apple Pie was a better term. We talk about apple pie an inordinate number of times each week…and I haven’t baked one in years.

  18. That is the one thing that makes being deaf a good thing… we only curse in sign around here and even if the girls pick it up how many of their hearing friends and teachers will even have a clue what they are saying?

  19. You can call me, 'Sir' says:

    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?

    Dude walks into a bar. Bartender looks at him and says, “Butt!”

    What’s the difference between a plum and a duck?
    One’s small, round, and purple, and the other’s a butt!

    Well, I’ll be damned…it works every time.

  20. have you gone to the monkey mail site? Everything is funnier when a monkey says it…especially butt. If you need the link, check out my post from the other day…I am such a bad mom we laughed for hours about a monkey saying butt and toilet paper, and all kinds of other things I should probably be discouraging.

  21. That’s okay Gidge, I just spent the first few minutes trying to register “C.S.” because all I kept thinking was “Crap Shoot” and I knew that wasn’t it. I knew it wasn’t,but my brain wasn’t engaging. Finally it did and I loudly exclaimed “OH IT’S COCK SUCKER” Heard a giggle and realized my 11 year old son is doing his homework in the kitchen which is adjascent to my home office.

    Now I need to think about whether I need to explain why his mother is yelling “OH IT’s COCK SUCKER” to herself when she thinks no one is home, or should I just let it go.

    See, the language issue just keeps re-visiting, even with older kids. Dammit.

  22. Paula,
    The sign for “bull shit” is my own favorite. While not deaf, I am quite proud that I can curse with my friends who do know sign.

  23. He needs to hang out with Fa…she’ll teach him the art of using the MFer….

  24. Yeah. I’ve been known to swear once or twice…a minute. My two favorite (?) instances of kid-cursing follow:

    – Sam says “Goddammit!” loudly and clearly in front of a religious friend and her children who are having a playdate at my house.

    – The best though: Sam apparently actually says the F-word in PRESCHOOL! I’ve heard lots of parents worry about this sort of thing, but so far I haven’t been able to find someone who has suffered a similar fate. The teacher was nice enough not to bring it up to me. It wasn’t until days later when a friend told me about it.

  25. Possesed by a demon, no doubt. Get some leeches to suck out the demon, and I’m sure your child will lose his cursing ability. . .


  26. Damn the man!

  27. Little story…when my baby brother was 3 or 4…(whenever back to the future first came out.) he would walk around looking at his pretend watch and say…”DAMMIT WHERE IS THAT KID” Yeah…he watched that movie EVRY freaking day until he was 8. I’m not joking. He still watches it once a month or so.
    And….if that didn’t make you chuckle…Madison said shit the oher day when she dropped her cup on the floor and water went everywhere. I too am the Man…the woMAN that is.

  28. My fave from my kids is, “Oh BLAST!” said with the best English accent they can muster. Truly hilarious — especially when said in front of strangers — the looks on the non-family-members is truly priceless.

  29. Maybe our kids can go to school together and I won’t be the only parent who taught their kid to cuss??? What do ya think? Share the bad parenting awards?

  30. I actually had and ARGUMENT with Jack the other day. He said “OH MY GOD” and I said ” WE SAY OH MY GOSH” and he said “You NEVER say OH MY GOSH, Mommy…you always say GOD” and I said “Well, You say OH MY GOSH” and he said “GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD I SAY IT LIKE YOU DO” and stormed out of the room.

    I tried to have the talk about how adults can say words kids can’t and why while we dont’ think its bad, some people might not like him saying OH MY GOD. I’m not sure he was listening to me because he was cracking up saying “GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD”


  31. I almost peed my pants one day when one of mine tripped and said “oh shit.”

    Yeah, I’m going to be the parent laughing at the butt jokes too. hehehe, I typed ‘butt.’ Twice!

  32. This one isn’t a kid story, but it does seem to fit in. My DIL’s cousin’s hubby wanted to give me their parrot. It seems his sister and BIL had kept it in the bedroom. It had the habit of picking the worst times (like when the minister is visiting) to say things like “Oh Kurt! O, Kurt, Again, Again,” etc. Naturally, their kids thought it was hilarious.

  33. OMG, LOL and can’t stop! The post was great, and the comments are just as funny. This is definitely a real-life, true-to-motherhood adventure.

  34. Mine hasn’t stared talking yet, but I am pretty sure his first words with be of the four letter variety as I can hardly stop myself from using them. I try…I really do but come one I am an ex-high school teacher–well and a mom and something are just hard to give up. Sometimes no other type of word will do.

  35. I dread what will come out of my future kids’ mouths, knowing what often comes out of mine.

  36. maryjoang says:

    My husband and I often say there are certain “Murphy’s Law” type rules that apply to this type of situation:

    1) You spend the first two years of your child’s life teaching him to talk–and the next 18 trying to get him to be quiet–or in some way control their speech choices.

    2) Words you’d rather they didn’t use come out of a child’s mouth at only the worst possible moment–like when older congregation members are visiting your home (my husband’s a pastor).

    3) “If you don’t want the kids to use certain words, don’t use them yourself,” is a fine sentiment–but doesn’t necessarily hold true–see #2 above.

  37. Oh man I know we’re right behind you. Thalia’s still in the stage of saying FAAAAAAAART instead of excuse me. Or sometimes she’ll just say “GOOD ONE!”

    We need to stop laughing when she does it. No really. It’s not funny. (heh) Not at all.

  38. My daughter is quite fond of “God damn it.” The other day I went upstairs to get something when she wanted to leave. She yelled up the stairs at me “God damn Mommy!” My daughter goes to Catholic school, and I am ALWAYS nervous now when I go in to volunteer.

    The problem is, it is funny. It’s SO hard not to laugh.

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