Hearing my kids’ vocabulary develop is one of my favorite parts of being a parent. The excitement of hearing distinct words ring our crystal clear from their usual indecipherable babble. The battle to see whether they will utter “mama” or “dada” first. That’s not to say speech hasn’t also been one of the anxious parts of being a parent either, because it totally has been. There’s the counting the number of words they have in their vocabulary, waiting for them to start stringing together two and three word sentences, the worrying whether they’re going to grow out of any little speech impediments they might have picked up, and of course being around other kids and hearing firsthand how your kid does or doesn’t stack up.
All that aside, part of why I think AJR at 3 1/2 is so much more fun to me than previous ages is because he’s (thankfully) got a pretty extensive vocabulary and like most kids his age, just says crazy off the wall things. I’ve been so amused by him as of late that my Twitter feed is littered with the things he’s said that cracked me up. Also, this is my total mom bias coming into play, but he has the most adorable sounding voice. Except when he’s tantruming like a little a-hole and screaming “NO I DON’T WANT TO!” Then it’s the absolute worst. It’s hard to describe his voice but it’s this Southern drawl mixed with an inability to pronounce Rs and Ls perfectly. Words like “welcome” are pronounced with about 15 syllables like “weelllhl-cohme” I’d also like to mention that I’m not the only one that thinks his voice is beyond cute as he picked up a Toddscar (Toddler Oscar) at school for “Best Voice”. I do realize this is not an actual accolade but it did make me say “aw” with pride.
Lately three new words have crept into his vocabulary…two of which make me cringe.
His overuse of actually was actually pretty cute in the beginning. Mostly because:
Now it’s actually pretty annoying, cute voice aside. Mostly because he cannot start a sentence without it. “Actually mommy, I’d rather watch Blaze instead.” or “Actually I’m going to run back and forth to take bites instead of sitting at the table.” I told my husband this weekend that if we took a drink every time he said ‘actually’ we would both be blackout drunk by 10a.m.
Fricking and heck are a direct reflection at my attempts to curb my admitted potty mouth. If you read my blog then you know that the swear words flow like the sweet wine I’m always talking about drinking. 99% of what I say to my kids gets ignored so I thought that my frickings and hecks were flying completely under the radar. Until I heard them come out of my son’s mouth. The first time it happened we were battling an ant problem. The ants kept appearing in our downstairs family room and were feasting upon the Goldfish crumbs that nestled into the crease between the stairs and the floor. It was annoying and gross all at the same time. I was upstairs hiding out in the kitchen “doing dishes” when I heard:
“There’s fricking ants everywhere!! There’s like a fricking thousand of them!”
It was a grab bag of emotions. I wanted to laugh. I felt like a terrible mother. I wondered the best way to react so he didn’t say it again. And also there was the actual problem of a thousand ants, which really only ended up being about 10. Ultimately I did think it was pretty hilarious, which probably strongly supports my thoughts around my questionable mothering.
He’s said it a few more times: “Mommy, I’m going to finish this show then go outside to play some fricking baseball!” Well, ok then. Baseball it is. Whatever you want, Tough Guy Tony.
Heck is used a little less but still equally hilarious and inappropriate. “Tell those people to get the heck out of there, Mommy!” or “What the heck are you doing, Olivia??” Toddler demands are much more forceful when they have semi-swears in their arsenal.
Ultimately, I’ve decided to ignore it when he uses fricking and heck. Even though I’m sort of proud that he knows how to use them correctly, I figure the more attention I give it the more appealing it’ll be to use it. A lesson I’ve learned the hard way after I tried to deter him from saying “poopy butt” only to be met with a long string of continuous poopy butts until he dissolved into immature laughter. I’ve also made a mental note to calm down my own potty mouth. A task that gets increasingly difficult as the day progresses and my patience wanes.
Fingers crossed this problem corrects itself before the summer is out. Otherwise I may get called in for a parent-teacher conference on the first day of preschool when AJR says to his teacher “It’s nice to fricking meet you. How the heck was your summer?”