The Profane Toddler (A Tale of Cursing)

I like to think it’s not all my fault…

My oldest is 7 years old. He’s a funny, loving, intelligent, little smartass that constantly makes me stop and wonder whether or not I was just outsmarted by a second-grader. Smart as he is, he has only used profanity within my hearing range once in his lifetime (but telling his daddy that he was going to whip his ass at playstation was actually quite humorous and quickly forgiven)… I’m sure his lack of cursing is partly due to the fact that as first-time mother, I was paranoid about making any sort of major parenting faux pas and worried a great deal about what other people thought. Needless to say, I wasn’t quite as diligent with my second offspring…

Growing up in southern Louisiana, words like gaddamn and christ’s sake were standard conversation fare during my childhood. Hell, my mother, to this very day, cannot complete an entire sentence without the appearances of shit, fire, and sugar. My great-grandmother adored the word bastard, and my sister punctuates the majority of her life with the word asshole. While I, on the other hand, prefer the simplicity and inherent flexibility of the phrase oh, shit. Now, as luck would have it, so does my two-year-old.

His every accident, moment of anger, and instance of excitement calls for an oh, shit! The bookcase falls over (perhaps due to the 40lb monkey climbing on it): oh, shit. The slice of pizza hits the floor: oh, shit. The monster jumps out from under the bed on some silly cartoon: oh, shit. He oh, shits at home; he oh, shits at the grocery store; he oh, shits in the car; he oh, shits at his grandpa’s house; he has even oh, shitted (or would that be oh, shat) at sunday school. Please note: we live in central arkansas, go to a very very small church filled to the brim with proper little old ladies, and are generally frowned upon for our unorthodox ways as is. This did not help our cause in the slightest.

He’s not quite old enough to grasp the concept of adult words. I’m not quite old enough to consider spanking him for it ( or any sort of real punishment), and, damnit, it’s funny. One has to appreciate his ability to utilize the phrase at exactly the right moments. If I stubbed my toe on that stupid power ranger, oh, shit most likely would have been my first response as well. So what’s to be done?

The only course of action is to blame the husband.

After all, at this rate, my newborn’s first words will most likely be goddamn it, bitch, i’m hungry, and I can’t have people thinking it’s my fault.

July 24, 2006
Categories: Daily

1.©2006 by Courtney Hebert as Judith Shakespeare.
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