I don't have any other parts planned, I just figure it's probably safer to leave this open-ended.
Okay, here's my big confession:
After watching Shrek II I don't know how many hundred million times, I thought it would be funny to teach my son Nicolas that the correct, polite thing to say after you burp is "Better out than in I always say, eh Fiona?"
Because that's what Shrek says, and Shrek's a great guy, isn't he?
Nico, always eager to please, dutifully learned this polite formula and impressed me by remembering to say it every time.
Unfortunately, Nico one day got wise to the fact that there was something fishy about what I'd taught him here and stopped doing it. I think the kids at school clued him in. It kind of annoys me that school would be undermining the lessons I'm carefully teaching him at home, but I guess every parent has to deal with that.
I figure that given my parenting skill level, I need to focus on the fundamentals like training the little guys not to bite each other or run out into the street rather than worrying about all the correct details of social convention. As my sister (who's really good at this whole mothering thing) likes to say "You choose your battles." (This isn't my glamorous Mormon diva sister, it's my other cool Mormon sister.)
Of course I've gotten some flack for my unorthodox parenting style, but I can take it. Actually, it wouldn't be that bad if it were just random people making snide comments instead of having to listen to my own husband saying things like "Sweetheart, you really shouldn't encourage him to say friggin'."
But it's just so cute when he says "Mommy, I can't find the friggin' thing." So I don't see how I could possibly answer anything other than "Okay, I'll help you find the friggin' thing."
Okay, maybe if I tried a little bit I might succeed, but I can't be totally sure about it.
Probably the worst was when I taught Nico to say "goddammit!"
This was back when I was unemployed -- with no job prospects on the horizon -- and I was at home nursing my baby Leo and busily writing a Java programming book that I was terrified would never find a publisher. Of course in the end I got my Java book published and found a job, but at the time I didn't know I would. So I feel like I had a perfectly good excuse for saying bad words and, y'know, teaching them to my then-two-year-old son and everything. That and he was so friggin' cute saying "goddammit!"
So now you know this dirty little secret.
Digging myself deeper with a lame attempt at justification, I'll have you all know that I can't possibly be the only one providing a bad example for Nico here because his skills at swearing in French are too advanced for him to have learned it from me.
And in reality, despite all the effort we've put into instructing him, he almost never uses naughty words in daily life. He'll have fun with a new one for a week or so after he learns it, then he'll get bored of it and stop saying it.
Maybe I should try freaking out and punishing him when he says a bad word. That might get him to put more effort into it.