The following is the reason I should win the "Mommy of the Year" award.

My (almost) three year old son says the word, "Dammit."

With reckless abandon. He will not stop. Oh yes, I'm so proud.

He also says, "Jesus Christ."

Yeah. I'm doing a great job.

The funny thing is that we ourselves as upstanding parents and citizens, don't have potty mouths. We rarely, if ever, let a curseword slip. And if we do, it is when we are among the adult crowd. Because we are now uber-aware that we are among tiny child parrots and now go completely wayyy out of our way to make sure there are none uttered in the house by anyone. Ever.

I am not even sure at which point Poops heard the word "dammit" and I'm not sure who said it first . I do know that my husband "someone" is responsible for saying "JC" in response to a certain baby kitty cat who has gotten into something or tripped "someone" or scratched or bit "someone" in that playful but not playful baby kitty cat way.

(Sorry honey-I'll pull you out from under the bus later, I promise.)

So here's what we've done. For "dammit", we've tried everything (dammit!) We've tried getting mad but he loves this way too much and just says it again. But with a smile. Then we've tried "time out" and we've tried switching out the word by saying the following (repeatedly): "We don't say that word, we can use the word 'Jinxies!' if we're upset."

I know, brilliant, right? What a manly word that is. Jinxies. But it was the first thing I thought of in a crunch, and I remembered hearing it from Velma from Scooby Doo.

So now my brilliant son won't just say "Dammit!". He'll say, "We don't say 'dammit', we say 'jinxies!'"

That's just great.

For that other word, the "JC" word, we always say to him the following: "We don't talk about Jesus that way, we talk about how he is a great man or we pray for him in church."

So now he'll yell, "Jesus Christ!" then when he sees my face frown or he sees the 'mommy look', he'll quickly follow with " a good man..."

Oh he's just so clever, isn't he?

I've even tried completely ignoring it but I just can't sit back and listen to this so this is not an option. Especially in public. (How embarrassing.)

And let me just say that back in my day (before cell phones and laptops, when bread was only a quarter and you had to walk a mile to get to school in the snow -- barefoot), my mom would smack me in the mouth, strike the fear of God in me, and I'd never be courageous enough to even think of that word. Again. For the rest of my life.

So how is it that I can't get him to stop this?

Well now I just won't tolerate either one of those words -- ever -- and he will either go in his room or in timeout or I will take away a beloved toy if he utters them. And I do one of these variations every time. (This is exhausting.) But I have seen this word usage decline. Slightly. For the most part.

He doesn't say them to my face really anymore, but every once in a while, I'll hear a muffled "dammit" from behind a closed door when he's sitting on the potty by himself followed by a "Jinxies!" as he corrects himself while talking to himself. Progress? I'm not sure.

But now I've got myself a new issue. A new word has sprung up among us that he will say to my face and it is a word he made up.

"Geemit." Hmmmm. It sounds a lot like "Dammit." But it isn't "dammit". And he knows this. So I'm finding myself in a quite an odd fix. I know what he means when he looks at me and says, "Geemit, Mommy! Geemit!"

But he's not saying "Dammit!"

So do I get mad? Because I know what he means? To his credit, he did figure out an alternative exclamation which really is not a curse word and especially not a word that anyone would recognize out in public, really. In fact, it really is quite clever. But of course I will never say this out loud and he will only know this when he reads this in many many years...

Plus, it's not as dainty and feminine as "Jinxies!" But it's not as rude and potty as "Dammit!"


Let it slide and let it slip? Be proud of the "Geemit" rather than the "Dammit?"

UGH!!! Why does he have to exclaim exclamations anyway!? He's only (almost) three! What does he really have to be angry about?? Or is because he's (almost) three that he has everything to be angry about because he's figuring out his tiny intense emotions and that's just what they do??

Will this too pass shall? Am I reading too much into this? Should I be laughing? Because if it were someone else's kid, this sure would be funny! And you're probably all thinking "I sure am glad my kid doesn't say those words!" And that's fine. Go ahead, judge. I can take it. On the side and as I write this, I do think it's kind of funny. But as I write that I think, no it's not! So really I am not sure if it's funny or if I am raising a clever little potty mouth. Or both.

A little advice here, dammit please!

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  1. It's horrible, isn't it? When they do and say such simultaneously horrifying/gosh-darn funny things? Lately there's been a lot of "butt" talk at my house...not just talk, but sticking out their little tushes and giving them a sassy shake. Oy, what to do?

    I don't know that I have any advice. You've got a clever boyo, that's for sure. Might cause some headaches now, but it may serve him well later on, like so many childhood traits....And kudos to you for coming up with what seems to me to be a good strategy. It may not feel like it will pay off, but it will. I remember the back-in-the-day strategies, like slapping or washing-mouth-out-with-soap. Effective in the short term, but I'm not so sure about the long term.

    For mine, ages 3-4 (and who knows? maybe 5 for my daughter) were all about figuring out how to deal with raging emotions and pushing parental buttons and testing the limits. (Just like miniature teenagers! Ack, am I in for it!!!)

    Made-up curse words, though, are kind of funny. Inspired by a certain X-Files episode, I started using "bleep" when Thing 1 was a baby. (Mostly. ;-) ) I think my kids must think it's lame, though, because they've latched onto SpongeBob curses instead: "Tartar sauce! Fish paste!" Or my daughter's, which is a cross between Winny the Pooh and SpongeBob: "Bother sauce!" (Because you *know* when Pooh says "bother," he's really dropping an "s-bomb" in his head.)

  2. I also have a kiddo who does not succumb to time out or stern talking to's... so I had to step outside the box a little when he started this a couple years ago. I sat him down and told him those bad words were only words that adults should use and that when he was 18 he could use swear words, but not before. It worked like a charm... and leaves me the opening to add words to the bad word list, like JC! Good luck!

  3. What a smart little boy you have. I have absolutely no advice but will take some from your post and other comments for future use...

  4. Not only does the girl say bad words I say she remembers from weeks and months ago. Remember mommy you said I was a getting on your damn nerves. Girl that was last year.

  5. Oh god, I should really dig deep to offer some sort of advice, but I'm still hung up on him saying 'Jesus Christ! .. is a good man' AHAHAHA. Your son kills me!

    I hope you find some way to kerb his bad language. I'm not sure how. Sorry.


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