So Éowyn sometimes confuses the Z sound with the S sound, I guess, because last night as we were walking past the horses down the street she yelled out
“HI WHORES!!! HIIIII WHHHOOOOOOOORRRRRES!!!”
As for REAL swearing. My god. I have to stop swearing in front of her. It’s not that I think there’s too much wrong with it but… I do care what other people think of her, and of me as a mother. People like my friend’s mother – who came to me at work to congratulate me about the baby and five minutes into the conversation said that “As soon as I heard you were pregnant I said to Tabby “MAN JAC HAS TO CLEAN UP HER LANGUAGE.”” Which, you know. I don’t really appreciate. From anyone, much less from someone who doesn’t know me very well.
I think of the face my mother in law would make if Éowyn swore in front of her. I mean, I don’t really honestly care what people like that think – the busy bodies of the world, the people who just need to find things to nit pick about – but at the same time there are A LOT of people like that out there, and I don’t want to deal with snits from folks like that or have them think any less of her for it.
I also think of my little nieces and how it sounds when THEY swear – even when they yell at the dog to “SHUT! UP! VAL!”. Sure we’ve seen the video of that sweetie pie talking about how she’d kick the monsters ass and that was really funny. But hearing that kind of language used in anger… I dunno there’s something different about that, to me. It’s not really that cute, it actually makes me feel embarrassed for them. I am far more mindful of the way I speak to the cat than I am of swearing around her, which makes perfect sense to me – swearing isn’t inherently mean or harmful but YELLING is. Shoving the cat off the counter is. Does that make sense to you?
But it’s hard, when I do it without even realizing, you know? I do think that kids are able to learn when it’s ok to swear, and when it’s not. That you have to speak politely in front of some people. I mean, I learned. Stephen and I aren’t going to make a huge deal out of it when we hear her swearing – we’re neither going to encourage it – “What did you say? Say it again! Oh, isn’t that cute? Tell Nana what you just said!” – or act terribly shocked and punish her for it. That’ll either teach her that it’s attention grabbing or that there is something inherently WRONG with curse words. There totally isn’t, no matter what anyone might say, and neither my husband nor myself have a problem with her swearing when she’s older – and knows the time and the place for it.
The thing is – she’s one. She is way, way too young to learn all that stuff. She’ll be spewing Fucks and Shits long before she can figure out the finer points of social interaction. So I really have to monitor myself. There’s no trick to it – it’s like anything else really I guess… you need discipline and mindfulness. I’m just not great with either of those.
Hhh… I am so not the parent I thought I’d be five years ago. Funny, huh.