I’ve been really good about my cuss words around the three year old. I mean REALLY good… and as a result I hardly swear at all anymore. Except… this one time… when I (I don’t even remember what caused me to use this utterance) used a certain first name of a deity, in an a manner where it might have been followed by an exclamation mark. I immediately bit my lip… stole a glance at the progeny… I don’t think she noticed… I think I’m good.
Of course I wasn’t.
Several days later she was in the child-seat in the back. We arrived at a stop street at the same time as a women on a scooter. I think she had intended to just go on through the stop street and our sudden appearance gave her pause. In any event, she fell over and the scooter landed on top of her. My daughter, witnessing this from her vantage, expresses herself in a manner she felt appropriate for the situation.
*Jo arches an eyebrow at her* Woah, were did that come from? (of course I knew where… but had to cover myself in front of the spouse)
We spoke about it, and I intimated how this wasn’t really appropriate language. And that she shouldn’t say this word… even though daddy did… eh… does. (you know, the usual parental hypocrisy we feed our kids)
In any event, not being able to express oneself as colorfully as one would like has led me to use more benign and milder words in lieu of swearing. ‘Jeepers creepers’ has become one of those little phrases I now bandy about instead of the ubiquitous F-bomb. Is Jeepers creepers a colloquialism? I’m not even sure, I suppose its on the same sorta level as ‘gosh darn it’ or something similar.
Carrying the dog food out the pantry this morning, my daughter uttered the following:
‘Jesus-Crickis, this is heavy, hey*’.
Wait what? I took me a moment to realize that she was trying to copy me with ‘Jeepers Creepers’.. but got it all mixed up and it came out sounding particularly damning. I started laughing… until my wife shot me a look that suggested I was about to get into trouble.
*While a Canadian will add an ‘eh’, we South Africans like to go the extra mile and add the ‘h’ as our redundant extra word at the end of our sentences.
While I can already envision myself being called in by her kindergarten teacher about my daughter invoking irreverence on the jungle gym… I do find in fascinating that kids gravitate towards obscenities and can find the correct (more or less) context within which to use them.