When my oldest was a baby, I guarded my words carefully. Not like I cussed like a sailor or anything, but I decided certain words were off-limits for my darling child’s ears: stupid, idiot, and jerk, among others. I used language that a preschool-teaching nun would be proud of. It wasn’t too different than how I usually spoke, I just didn’t refer to my rear end as my butt anymore.
Even as kid #2 came along, I was able to keep a handle on the language. Granted, #1 was just a couple of years older than the baby and his vocabulary wasn’t immense, but still, good words.
Things started changing when #3 came along. #1 was nearing kindergarten and the “potty-humor” phase. It was a minor struggle, and the worst word my son used was “fart.”
Baby #4 turned 2 last week. The older kids are 10, 8, and 6. We still try to keep a close handle on the language – stupid, idiot, and jerk are still not allowed, nor is shut up. I was changing Baby’s diaper last week. I opened up her wet diaper and found lots of cracker crumbs trapped along her waistline. I teased her, “You’ve got crumbs in your diaper! What other food do you have in there?”
Know what she said? “Taco on my butt.”
Thank you, dear children, for teaching your sister how to talk.