Just so that you don’t think #7 is blowing smoke about our bad parenting, this is a followup to her post.
So here is your parenting advice from an expert (at bad parenting): Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t want your children to repeat.
Scott and I went through a phase in our relationship our terms of endearment may have been confused with insults, or even mild profanity. We didn’t use the big curses, but slightly stronger language than we would encourage our children to use may have come out occasionally.
We tried hard to keep it appropriate for the little ears, it didn’t always work. Why do I know this, you ask? I offer this as an example:
Scott and I were living in Juneau, Alaska and had gone on a grocery run with three-year-ole Tony. Scott from the bottom of the stairs and I from the top were jovially flipping each other crap like we usually do. I recall there was some sort of mild disagreement, and we had essentially degenerated to, “I’m right!” “No, I’m right!” “Nuh-uh!” “Uh-huh!” Yes. We are extremely mature for our ages.
Tony, in the middle, was listening to our banter while carrying bags of groceries up the steps to the house. Finally, Scott solicited Tony’s masculine solidarity in the argument, and will a peal of laughter, Tony yells at the top of his lungs, “Papa’s right, Mama! And you’re a d*****-bag!”
I have to admit, I stopped mid-way up the steps and couldn’t turn around to face Tony because my body was shaking with silent laughter that I couldn’t show him. If he knew I was busting up, that phrase would have become a staple in his vocabulary. Somehow Scott was able to hold it together and gently, but firmly, advise Tony that he shouldn’t be saying that word.
That day we were very happy we didn’t use stronger language, and we realized that little ears soak it all up, even when we don’t think they’re listening.
I know I’m not the only one who has had this type of experience. Share your story below about your little parrot repeating your words!