The rate at which young children pick up language is astounding. It's pretty miraculous how quickly language develops and new words are picked up, and it's particularly impressive when those words have four letters. It's going to happen, dear reader, and it's going to happen at exactly the wrong time. When that day comes, there are things every mother thinks when her toddler cusses in public that, well, you'll probably think, too.
I have a potty mouth. I always have and I'm going to just assume I always will. I try to keep a lid on it when I'm around my kids, but sometimes I slip because, you know, I'm a normal human being. I never realized just how frequently I do slip, though, until my kid started swearing, too. Like, a lot. And in context. He wasn't dropping cuss-bombs as random one-offs, as if he was just trying out a new word, but using swear words correctly. Like the time he said, "F*cking dog" when our boxer knocked over a glass of water. Yeah that, um, was not my proudest moment.
Some parents are pretty chill about it when their little ones swear, and choose to take the "there's no such thing as a bad word" approach. Others, of course, are a little more concerned and try to explain the difference between "adult words" and "kid words." Regardless of your approach or how you choose to handle the situation, you can pretty much bet there are a few things every mom thinks when her toddler cusses in public.
Because, of course your kid is the one that sounds like a trucker and a sailor had a baby. Nice.
[Insert Uncontrollable, Internal Laughing Here]
Sometimes it's shocking and sometimes it's funny, but there's usually a chuckle involved when a tiny tot drops adult caliber swear words. There's just something about that innocent, cherub-like face spouting profanity that elicits a response.
"Please Tell Me No One Heard That"
Once the initial surprise has worn off, mom is sure to survey the area to make sure no one overheard and is, in turn, casting judgment. If you're lucky, your little one didn't scream it at the top of his or her lungs in the middle of Target (which has totally happened to me, because of course it's totally happened to me).
"I Have To Tell Someone Immediately"
There's always that one friend who will appreciate hearing about your kid's latest word. Whether it's your partner, your bestie, or a sibling, you're sure to text someone immediately.
"Please Don't Ever Say That In Front Of Your Grandmother"
No one can make you feel like sh*t about your parenting quite like your own mother can. So, if her sweet little grandchild drops an f-bomb in front of her, you can expect the guilt trip to end all guilt trips.
"People Are Going To Think I'm Awful"
Because of course when your kid cusses it's going to be in public, in front of exactly the wrong people. Like the always kind preschool teacher, or the nice old lady in the grocery store who tells you how sweet your kid looks.
"This Better Not Become A Pattern"
First stop, inappropriate language, next stop, prison? Alright, probably not, but still. I mean, it's hard to not think the worst because motherhood and anxiety tend to go hand-in-hand, especially these days.
"I Need To Watch My Mouth"
While it can be kind of hilarious to hear your kid cuss, it's also a pretty big reality check. When your precious angel calls your boss a, um, "bad word," it might be time to clean up your own potty mouth.
"Hold On. Where Did You Hear That Word?"
Of course, if you don't have a potty mouth it might be time to check in with your partner. If he or she swears with reckless abandon, you're gonna want to have a little talk.
"I'm A Horrible Mother"
While I understand the urge to automatically blame yourself (because, yes, I've considered what a "good mother" would do after hearing her kid cuss, and I'm assuming laughing isn't on the list) you're not a bad mom. You're just, you know, a normal mom who gets frustrated. Your kid is just a toddler, and has plenty of time to either unlearn the word they've just shouted in the grocery story, or learn that some words are meant for adults, and some words are meant for children.
Either way, you're doing a great job. Cussing and all.