I have a bad habit. Ok, fine. I have more than one. But there is one that is particularly problematic. I say a few bad words. Not any of the ones that get a movie an R-rating, mind you; more the type that are on evening television. Nonetheless, they are bad. I think it is wrong to say them. They never sound bad coming out of my own mouth. It's always when they make a debut appearance on the tongue of one of my children that I cringe and kick myself for ever having uttered that word. Case in point: SUCKS. This word is everywhere. I use it frequently. It barely crosses my mind that it is inappropriate. That is, it didn't, until Bubba(7) also started using it frequently. Only then did I realize how ugly that particular word sounds to the listener. I have tried suggesting to him that it may not be the nicest word to use but well, the boy has heard it a few too many times for that to make a difference. As sad as Bubba's(7) use of the word "suck" is to me though, it is LittleMommy's(9) language that has always been a source of embarrassment to me.
The first time was in Nursery. (Nursery at our church is the class for 18month-3 year-olds. They sing songs, have a short lesson and a snack, play toys, color, and blow bubbles. Oh, and cry. Usually.) So there is LittleMommy(20m) in Nursery and the leaders start singing the clean-up song. LittleMommy(20m) turns to the other toddlers in the room and says, "We need to cwean up dis cwap." Fortunately, the Nursery leaders thought it was funny and didn't shame me for it- too much. I wanted to die. I went home and prayed that day that the other kids didn't learn a new word to take home and demonstrate for their parents.
The next time I remember was at Sunday dinner with the in-laws. Sunday dinner at the in-laws' house is a proper, formal affair, complete with china, crystal, cloth napkins, and napkin rings. LittleMommy(3) came to the table, climbed up on her knees in her chair and peered into the serving bowl in front of her. Motherinlaw had made Stroganoff as she had many times- (one of the best things she makes. Mmmmm)- and the bowl in front of LittleMommy(3) was filled with noodles. After looking at them for a moment while everyone else seated themselves, LittleMommy(3) asked, "What the hell are these noodles?". Motherinlaw registered a look of something like horror. Fatherinlaw nearly had an aneurism stifling his laughter into his napkin. Husband and I both tried to keep straight faces while Motherinlaw chided LittleMommy(3). I thought I would die.
A couple of weeks later at yet another Sunday dinner, partway through the meal, LittleMommy(3), using her best manners, said sweetly, "Pass the damn beans." That time Husband and I were both stifling laughter while simultaneously getting the stinkeye from Motherinlaw. Fatherinlaw was unusually quiet. I think he got in trouble the time before. Moneybags jumped in and told LittleMommy(3) not to talk that way. I think I did die.
And so it went. Every few years at inopportune times LittleMommy would insert new and colorful vocabulary into her dialogue, always to my shame and horror. Then last week, her Primary teacher (Sunday School for kids) posted this story on her blog:
"This past Sunday we were teaching our 9 & 10 year old primary class all about Abinidi and evil King Noah. [A story from the Book of Mormon. Don't be hatin', just keep reading.~Aberjaber] Brett was giving some background info on King Noah's dad, King Zeniff. He told them that King Zeniff had been a good King but that his son did not follow in his foot steps. The kids wanted to know why King Zeniff had allowed Noah to be the next king since he was so evil. One of our sweet primary kids offered this suggestion.
"He was probably a kiss ass to his dad." "
Now, I happen to know that this particular term has been a favorite around this household for a month or two, thanks to "Night at the Museum". (No, they don't learn all the bad words from me, thank you very much.) In spite of my t.v. woes, and the fact that my kids aren't even allowed to watch PG-13 movies until they are 13, they still manage to pick up the choice phrases in our video collection. I confronted PrimaryTeacherFriend and she would not admit whether it was LittleMommy(9) or not. I'm afraid though, with her colorful history, there can be little doubt. : )
I am working on breaking this bad habit. Hopefully I'll have kicked it by the time Kryptonite(1) goes to Nursery. It's the advantage of having big families. Eventually, you're bound to stop messing the kids up. I hope. : )
P.S.- Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I bet you're SICK of checking back here and finding nothing. I've been SICK too. Morning sick, that is. Wish me luck this time around.