Seriously… (a PG-13 post)

How do you get a 22 month old to stop saying dammit?

It was frighteningly cute at first, considering he actually used it appropriately. But now he uses it all the time. Whenever soemthing does not quite happen as he wants, he lets out this little, “dam-mit” under his breath. No screaming, no shouting,  he just says it to himself. He also says “you poopie” when he’s mad, but at least that’s something an almost-two-year-old normally says.

Our tactics of “that’s not a nice word” just result in a whole string of dammits, so we’re just trying the ignore it method. I’ll let you know how it works. I’m just praying he stops before our next visit to the in-laws.

Today seemed to be a day of cursing for me, which I’m not sure why. It was a lovely day. We made apple pie and pretended to be vikings. Little Man was very big-brotherly and sweet all day. But there were moments, both involving  food where food should not be.  I let an “aw shit” out, to which Little Man decided to echo me, shaking his head at Knittybaby. And then I let an f-bomb slide under my breath while cleaning up another mess, thinking I was alone. But you’re never alone as a mom, and my little cursing baby was right behind me, repeating me loud and clear.

Honestly, I’m not that foul mouthed of a person. This is a slightly embarrassing post to write. I have cleaned up my vocabulary quite a bit since my college years, but there seems to be something about a foody mess that brings out my worst words. I admire the moms who seem to be able to immediately change everything to “rats” and “crackers” as soon as their kids get to the repeating stage. Maybe if I start charging myself yarn for each slip up?

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Seriously… (a PG-13 post)

  1. I’m sorry to admit this, but I am cracking up over here. It’s such a funny scenario to envision for many reasons–not least of which is that I may very well find myself in the same boat one day.

    About half a year ago, my now-thirty-two-month-old uttered one “dammit” after my husband bandied the word about a few times in one afternoon. (I think there was a DIY home-repair project and some power tools involved.) We told her that it was a not-nice word and that Daddy shouldn’t have used it–and, luckily, we haven’t had any repeat performances.

    Neither my husband nor I do a lot of cursing, though there are days when the word “crap” seems to form half of my vocabulary. (It is such a versatile word, after all, able to function as pretty much any part of speech.) The little one hasn’t picked that up, fortunately, and now that I’ve read your post, I’m going to double my efforts to excise it from my lexicon. When my daughter is old enough to understand the power of words, then I might teach her about that one. But not yet.

    Good luck!

  2. It happens to all of us. I didn’t realize how often I called my dog a certain word until my 4-yr old looked lovingly at the dog and such, “Aww, what a cute BASTARD!”

    Heh.

  3. Ignore it. It’ll either go away (like it did with my oldest) or you’ll get used to it and not worry about it anymore (like I did with my youngest). 🙂

  4. This too will pass. I had my own two year old who could use dammit completely appropriately. It was cute and frightening at the same time. I don’t remember it lasting too long. Best bet is to ignore it…and try not to say it for awhile. 🙂

  5. Years ago, when Neatnik was about Knittybaby’s age, a friend’s college student daughter was typing in her room one day when my Neatnik wandered in. I didn’t think anything of it until Neatnik was sing-songing under her breath while coloring happily the following week, “stupid b!tch, stupid b!tch”.

    Would it be surprising that I called said friend and asked her to have a little chat with college student daughter about language when Neatnik was visiting.

  6. deb

    It’ll pass. But FYI – just last night when our entire dinner fell to the floor in a heap, I let all the bombs fly – the f, the s, the GD. The only one in the house who seemed surprised by this was the dog. And only because it distracted her from eating our entire dinner!

  7. Gretchen

    I’m right there with you. I decided to not care about it, but the kids know that namecalling isn’t allowed, and there are more “adult” words that their grandmas don’t want to hear. Seems to work. I do limit the use of F-bombs in their vicinity, but otherwise, it’s just words. I was punished rather severely for innocuous words like “geez” and “fart”- I decided before kids that it wouldn’t be a big deal. My 7 year old knows not to use “adult” words at school, and I’m sure the other three will follow her example.

    If they don’t, I have a big old bar of soap that’ll stop it….just joking, of course!

  8. Bwahahaha! Okay, sorry, just had to get that out as my kids have very colorful vocabulary as well!

    My approach? Try to watch my mouth as much as I can and beyond that, just wax philosophical: Words by themselves are neither good nor bad, what makes the difference is the intent with which they are used. So, if you’re truly expressing anger and frustration, how much difference does it make whether you say “Rats!” with intense enthusiasm or drop an F-bomb?

    Not that I’m advocating liberal use of swearing, nor do I swear *that* much. Of course, it helps that my mother-in-law finds it amusing and my parents live 2000 miles away. ;o)

  9. As everyone has already pointed out, it will pass. You may be a little more potty mouthed lately because of the effing cold weather, I KNOW I am.

  10. Not that my language is terrible, but I definitely have to work on it when I’m around a certain 21-month old of my acquaintance…

  11. This too shall pass. While DH and try to curb our vocabulary when our 5 yo is around there are more than a few moments when wildly inappropriate language flies. Somehow the little guy has managed to process that it is not appropriate and doesn’t repeat it.

    I would just ignore it and tell the little one that it is not appropriate for a child and that adults shouldn’t use it either.

  12. I just do what you’ve tried–I explain that it’s not a polite word and that even Mommy and Daddy shouldn’t use it. I also tell them that if they are rude they can’t be with other people and will have to sit in their room. It’s just enough to get my point across. And it’s more about the follow-through than anything else. It’s hard when they’re being defiant, no matter what they’re up to.

    I try to keep it low-key. I don’t mean to make it sound like I tar and feather them for a small thing like this. Honestly, I’ve only ever had to talk to Thomas about it once when he was 3.5 and Anna around when she turned 2. And then only when the cursing became persistent. I didn’t want it to become a habit, you know?

  13. Oh, too funny. That’s my word of choice for food spills and stubbed toes and “frogging” events – better than some other creative combos that circulate throughout my brain!
    Unfortunately, my 2 year-old has been know to say “dammit” also…but I just ignore it, and come to think of it, I haven’t heard her say it for at least a month now.
    I had just finished blogging about my potty-mouth and sewing misadventures when I popped over here for a visit. Must be the wicked winter cold gettin’ to us!

  14. knittymama's mama

    This is the funniest post yet, I can’t answer the phone here at work cause I’m laughing – I can picture it all, those sweet, innocent little faces spewing obsenities. Kinda like the time a little girl said S-O-B to the nun!!

  15. I must admit that I have a tart mouth. This led my son to use the F word in front of company. The only time he ever did. Here is my recommendation. Ignore it and try to use “darnit” and “shoot” in its place. Maybe he’ll see that he has been pronouncing it wrong. I’ve done that with my guy and outside of the aforementioned embarrassing comment in public, he kind of steers to my replacement words. But I’ve had to replace them a lot. Bad habit I need to clear up.

  16. Moms are people, too. And they let the “words” drop every now and again. Maybe as a family you could have some sort of reward system for going a certain amount of time without swearing? Kids like it when mom and dad get in on the act and it sends a really good message about rules being for everyone.

    That said, I have the worst mouth in the free world. Thank God I don’t have children!

  17. hee hee. I have a nephew who used to say “frog” in a way that made it sound a whole lot like that other f word. We used to just dissolve in giggles when his parents insisted that he was saying frog.

  18. I occasionally have the same problem with my younger child. As for my own mouth, I have slip ups too. It happens! Ignore it with the little one, and hopefully it’ll lessen.

  19. I’m sorry too, but I nearly fell off my chair laughing. I thought the dammit was bad, but then the aw shit and the F word just about did me in!! I agree, ignore it, it usually goes away, or else they find a new word!!!!!

  20. It happens! Don’t be too hard on yourself for it. These slips of the tongue are ALWAYS overheard (trust me, I work with kids).

    It’s good that you don’t want to be the Mom who lets her little ones use the F word like it’s nothing to blink at. Those Moms kids, they’re nasty to spend time with.

    Hope it passes before your In-laws are there. But it is a pretty typical kid thing.

  21. I’m sorry, it’s not funny, really it’s not, but I am laughing. It reminds me of the day my extremely refined mother in law was driving her small nieces, when someone cut her off. “Bugger” she said. “Bugger!” came a small echo from the back seat. At least it’s your own baby you’re corrupting! 😉

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