Daddy Diary – Dictaphones and Swearing

There are some things that are funny but really shouldn’t be.

People falling over is inherently hilarious, but the prospect of someone actually hurting themselves does little to dampen the peals of laughter coming from you or the majority.

The same goes for toddlers swearing.

Now, I’ve gained a reputation for uttering the odd expletive or twelve. Being Scottish, most swear words are often used as a term of endearment. I may not be able to display why swearing is so fun, or useful, but the living legend Billy Connolly can.

Sir Billy Connolly once famously rubbished the notion that swearing suggested a person had a poor vocabulary. “Rubbish,” he said. “I know thousands of words – but I still prefer f***.”

But I can assure you, I’ve gone to every measure to ensure my little one’s ears are kept pure, unsullied by my potty mouth.

But yet, my oldest has swore for the first time, just before his third birthday – and it was f$%&ing hilarious.

The chosen phrase he went for was “f&$*£ng kids.” Which is usually uttered under my breath, accompanied by a sigh at 3am. When they have woken up three times and now want to play.

Some things are unavoidable, and your kid will swear. At a certain stage, they become a human Dictaphone, copying everything that comes out of your mouth, even down to lilts and tones. It’s fascinating to see and hear – but there’s a drawback. And that means they will inevitably copy something you don’t want them to.

Cheeky little devil

Now, when my oldest said those words, the shock permeated through the house. My mum and dad were there too and there was a silence for a few seconds – a rare feat in my house.

Then, the laughter came.

The words and the sound of my sweet kid swearing are so jarring that you can’t help but laugh. It’s like those compilation videos of people sliding down mud at a festival with a tray of drinks. You can’t help it.

And before you chastise me for being a bad parent, you must know three things;

  1. I do not and have not encouraged my kid to say these things.
  2. There are hundreds of videos of toddlers swearing on YouTube, most have gone viral for good reason. Look at the kid who swears at the monkeys at the zoo!
  3. You can’t tell me what I  don’t already know. It is vulgar

Yet, it is still funny.

It isn’t as if I’ve shared the video to all my family and friends like a proud parent. No one has seen it, I don’t encourage them to say it when visitors are around and they receive a telling of when they do so. But I still can’t help laughing. I have to leave the room.

And that is like petrol to the flame.

Because when you laugh at them, or smile or give off any positive reaction to anything they do – they will damn sure repeat that action. They want to get that reaction again, and my laughter is just that. So I go to great lengths to withhold that laughter.

But I’m still immature, I still enjoy puerile humour – and little kids swearing is still funny.

My point is, your kid will do stuff that you think other people will recoil at and instantly judge you for being a bad parent.

The food you give them at lunch. The clothes you dress them in, the words and actions they perform.

If people do judge you, then screw them. You are doing your very best to bring up a wonderful little person and make them ready for the world. You’re giving everything you’ve got and you know in your mind what is right and what is excusable.

This will simply be one of those funny stories you tell your kid when they’re grown up – and they will love the memory just as much as you will.

If they’re still swearing at eight or nine years old and have accrued a few more profanities, then you might have a problem.

But at 1-3? Just enjoy it.

It’s bloody funny.

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