My child has started talking. This is bad news for someone like me who thinks the F word is one of the best words the English language has to offer.
She hasn’t been able to string many words together, but she is picking things up daily.
Shoes. Doggie. Airplane. Nose. Eyes. Mommy. Daddy. Book. Yo.
That’s her vocabulary right now.
However, she is very responsive. We’ll ask her to say something and she’ll always give it her best effort.
She’ll repeat the word “Dodgers” which is fantastic. We ask her to say the dog’s name and she’ll say “Shaw-she” which is supposed to be Roxy. Fish are “sushi” which is super advanced for her age, if you ask me.
When driving, I’ll try and lob some things at her. It’s got to be boring to ride in the backseat and see the world backwards through the rear window.
Ella, I’ll hum, say your name.
Ella! she’ll reply enthusiastically.
When she’s on the changing table, I’ll ask if she pooped. Poooooh! she’ll sing.
When I was a kid, having a mimic as a younger sibling was awesome. I’d visit friend’s houses and it would give us an excuse to say bad words because a three-year-old saying “Fuck!” is so much funnier than an eight-year-old saying it.
Having that knowledge is dangerous. I don’t want my kid to say the F word until she’s at least in her 40’s – OK, I’ll settle for her late teens for the first time I hear it from her mouth – but part of me is so tempted to ask my kid to say “fuck” just to see if she’ll repeat it … and what it would sound like from that soprano voice of hers.
One day, recently, we were all heading to the store and I started my usual routine of asking my kid to say things.
She followed right along. It was cute. Until …
Ella, say butthole.
I have no idea why. It just slipped out.
The passenger seat immediately got angry.
Why would you say that?! my wife wanted to know.
I don’t know. Still don’t. Seriously. It just slipped out.
My defense was that a child who isn’t even a year-and-a-half has no idea what butthole means. She has no idea what Dodgers means, and she has absolutely no idea what fuck means.
And I am going to be sure to keep it that way.