No one likes to admit this, but everybody says a bad word at one point or another.
Maybe you are cutting tomatoes on your kitchen counter and the knife slips and you almost slice off your thumb. Or maybe you slam your hand in the car door. Or maybe you are just getting rowdy while talking on the
phone with your girlfriend. Who knows? But somehow, it slips out. “@#@@@*%%!”
Uh oh. You look up, hoping your baby is distracted and didn’t notice, but no such luck. Your one-year-
old baby is staring at your with eyes that delve into your very soul. “#@@@*%%!” your baby repeats
joyfully, looking expectantly up at you for approval.
What do you do? There is nothing you can do but act like it didn’t happen and hope that your baby
doesn’t decide to repeat himself at your next Playgroup. Or some other highly inappropriate place
where everyone will look at you with shock and horror as your baby says, “@#@@@*%%” over and
over and over and over.
Which is what happened to me when I accidentally slipped and said the S-word one day after stubbing
my toe. Oh my. I looked up and there was my baby smiling at me. “Sh-t?” my baby repeated sweetly and
gave my toe a kiss. Now I felt like a complete monster.
But what was even worse was that my baby decided to repeat my mistake not only immediately
afterwards at home, but later in the day while we were attending our wholesome Mummy and Me
Storytime at the public library. We were just in the middle of a group sing-along of The Itsy Bitsy
Spider when my baby tripped and fell. He looked up at me and said, “Sh-t?” When everyone let out an
embarrassed chuckle, my baby was delighted.
“Sh_t! Sh_t! Sh_t!” he said repeatedly while clapping his hands and laughing (to my growing
mortification)…until we finally had to leave the room, so I could go hide in shame in the bathroom in
attempts compose myself enough to vacate the library without running.