I have been reduced to spelling. I spell s-h-i-t and b-i-t-c-h. I also spell p-o-p-s-i-c-l-e-s. The Creature hears all these days, and what she hears comes spilling directly out of her cute little mouth, sometimes when I least expect it. Like today, when her dad was animatedly expressing valid annoyance, she said, “Well, Dada, I know you are frustrated, but…”
My mother and I coined the phrase “the mommy nod” to describe the head bobbing that ensues before my child utters one of her mommy-like phrases such as, “I Know you really like counting, but now is not the time for counting.” She has become quite an impersonation artist — I am not sure yet how thrilled I am that I am the primary subject of her “art.”
It is her near-constant mimicry that has forced me to question whether some substitutes for swear words are really any better than the words themselves. ”Crap,” for example, is a shitty swear word. I learned this the other day, after I edited my “shit” down to a “crap,” and then was subjected to a barrage of “Cap! Cap! We live in a cappy city!” (“R’s” are not her strong suit). Bursting forth from the lips of my toddler, crap sounded like a really cappy alternative.
You’d think I’d have figured out that crappy substitutes for swears in front of children don’t really work when my poor, sad, embarrassed mommy ears heard my precious Creature utter the phrase, “That’s effing ridiculous!” Why did I think for a moment that “effing” was any better without the other letters following it?
All this to say, that the fact that “content in” = “content out” is really hitting home these days. With this in mind, I am letting my subscription to satellite radio lapse, lest I accidentally develop an affinity for Howard Stern and am subsequently forced to hear his effing words rebroadcast by my cherubic toddler.
I am putting us both on a steady diet of NPR. Listening to the radio will prevent me from talking (and thus being mimicked), and it will give her a whole new cast of characters to draw from in her budding career as a celebrity impersonator.
Here are the results thus far: