There are plenty of things that my kid does that I find remarkable. They probably aren’t really that special, but something about watching the fruit of your loins do mundane things for the first time is entertaining. The first time they sit-up, crawl, walk, make eye-contact; these are all things that make parents proud. My son dropped the s-bomb and used it in the right context when he was less than three years old, and I’m telling you it’s a moment I will never forget. I was proud.
I read an article today in the Huffington Post about parenting moments we don’t brag about. The author tells a story of her daughter teaching a friend how to use the f-word. Basically, her daughter taught her friend how to use it right – and the author was notified by said girl’s mother. Eek. The inescapable fact that conversations like this are in my future is a little unnerving.
Our story went like this; our new dining table hadn’t arrived yet, so we were using a large folding table on loan from my sister. I put too many books on one end of it, and it collapsed. My husband and I scrambled to pick up some plates that fell before my son got near the area. My son, right on cue said, “Oh shit!” Hmm.
Two things happened in that moment; 1) I realized I needed to stop saying “oh, shit” all the time and 2) I undeniably beamed with pride that my little minion used one of my favorite phrases in the right context. I know, I know – that’s horrible parenting. I’m just being honest. We didn’t laugh or validate his behavior in any way. We just stared at each other and thought, “Oh, shit.”
I didn’t want to make a big deal about it, because I knew my son was just mimicking me and would probably forget all about it if we didn’t point it out. He hasn’t said it since. But there is a part of me that knows this story will trump many other milestone stories, because it’s kind of hilarious, no?
I can’t even begin to teach a toddler the subtle nuances of language and why it’s okay for mom to use certain words that he can’t – so I’m really going to have to work on my potty mouth. But I am an unapologetic fan of that moment. It brings me joy and it’s a story I will tell in his future for sure; I may not have had you potty-trained by the time you were three, kid, but you knew how to use “Oh, shit” in the right context. You can run and get my parenting trophy – I’ll wait.
(photo: Getty Images)