Sunday, 27 March 2011

29. The Swear Box

I dressed Magpie and the Tank in haste this morning.  We were going out for brunch (to accommodate my and my host's respective toddler routines) and what with the clocks going forward, we lost out on an hour of precious 'fannying around' time (shove girls in cots while I watch the news and microwave my cold coffee for the 10th time).  So we had to speed up the dressing process and the Tank wasn't having it.  Her 21 month-old version of 'not having it' was telling me and Big Daddy what wonderful words she had learnt this week.
Before I ruin my own story, I need to tell you something.  I bought a Swear Box at our local FaraKids (without which I could not live - that's Fara, not the Swear Box).  But today's post isn't about Fara.  I'll save that one for another day.  No, it's about swearing.  Mine, in particular.  Now being the mother of my children, I'm acutely aware of the need (especially other people's need) not to swear in front of them at the crucial 'sponge' phase (the phase from 2-3 years old approx when children are learning to speak and will repeat any old garbage that comes out of your mouth without you realising).

Big Daddy is slowly replacing the F-word with the Fff-ing word; Ga, the girls' grandmother is learing to say 'naughty' girl instead of 'horrid' girl,  and I am learing to say 'hello' to people on the phone insteady of 'hiya' which the girls have copied, and played back to me, so to speak, when I had NO IDEA that such hideousness ever came out of my mouth.  So no, as far as I was aware, I didn't swear in front of them...I just whined down the phone and appalled myself with my own naff use of language.

But back to the joys of dressing the Tank.  As I did up each button on her funky Baby Gap brown corduroy shirt dress, she said:

'Oh my God.'

I did up another button just to check I hadn't heard wrong.  She twisted and turned to show her disapproval at my trying to dress her.'
(Translation - this just isn't going my way.  Oh, want are you doing?  No!  I soooo don't want to get dressed).

The Tank (right) wearing the offending corduroy shirt dress that made her language a little colourful
Big Daddy grinned.  My holier-than-thou ethos with the Swear Box and the 20p fines and the enforcement of my Language-in-front-of-toddlers Rule had just been thrown back in my face.

All I can say, is OMG.  Must do better.


  1. It's terrible to laugh but it is so funny when toddlers say inappropriate things! I have to prepare myself for when our 15 month-old starts mimicking as Daddy in our household has a near Tourettes-level swearing habit. In fact he has just said sh** and f*** at the TV as I typed the last sentence! Little one is napping so out of earshot, thankfully! Funny post btw! x

  2. I know! But so far I'm more shocked at what I say when they repeat it back to me - still can't get over 'hiya' being the first thing they have mimicked! x

  3. I'm the only person I know who thinks kiddie swearing is fun...not my most respectable viewpoint :) But I do try to moderate my language. Even so, both my girls have come out with some things a lot worse than hiya and omg...

    Note to self - must get a swear box.

  4. I am a passionate swearer. Mostly at inanimate objects that don't co-operate, I might add). And therein lies the problem. I find it really hard NOT to swear, so the fact that their language is relatively tame, but still unsuitable (on grounds of naffness and blasphemy, not that I am that God-fearing) is somewhat er, ironic.