Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You don't say 'crap', right?

We've just entered the repeat-everything-you-say phase with our 2-1/2 year old.

The other day we were having dinner when something spilled on the table. My daughter slapped her forehead and said, "Oh crap!"

My husband, being the smart disciplinarian, was all over it: "Where did you hear that?! Gaby, you don't say that word, it's a bad word."

Supressing my giggles, I meekly owned up to it. "Uhh... that would be me." (To be clear, I don't use that word when I'm talking to her, but I have definitely said it in her presence when 'expressing frustration'.)

Anyhoo, showing a united front, I said to my daughter, "Daddy's right, we don't say that word. Mommy should not have said it. I am sorry and I won't say it again. It is a bad word. OK?"

She's a fantastic listener and we know she understands (to a degree) the concept of good vs. bad, right vs. wrong. We're pretty confident we've nipped this one.

Wrong. So wrong.

Not a day later, out of the blue, she says to me, "Mom, I don't say 'crap', right? Only Mommy says 'crap'? 'Crap' is bad?"

[Jaw hits the floor.] Three-for-three kiddo, good job.

After repeating the mantra from the other night (see above), she proceeds to confirm her question, "OK, so I don't say 'crap'". We then repeat this round of questions a couple more times during the day, for good measure.

I'm now positive that she's surpassed both myself and my husband in intelligence. Now not only do we have to deter her from saying 'crap', we need to deter her from asking about saying 'crap'. This will either open up a whole new line of questions about 'crap', or she'll shut down completely and never talk again.

Vocabulary Karma
When I was in Grade 5 (Mrs. Vandusen, God bless her) we did vocabulary units. One of the tasks was to use the word(s) we were studying in a sentence, with the goal of ensuring we understood its meaning and could use it in the correct context.
If I did not know the meaning of a word and was too lazy to figure it out (happened frequently), my sentence would be something like, "What does the word <rickshaw> mean?". If push came to shove, I could argue that I had provided a sentence with the studied word in it. Probably one of the reasons I almost had to repeat the fifth grade.

I think my daughter is doing a smarter version of the same trickery... she's getting around the issue on a technicality. She's not using the word in a bad way (which is what we reacted to), she's simply asking us to clarify our position - and how can she possibly do that without saying the word?

Smart, smart cookie.

1 comment:

  1. I see my future with my son now. I am so doomed.