My Little Towheaded Parrot

I just love this Boy.  He’s my little parrot.  He started about a year ago, shortly after he turned two.  It was cute until …

“Goddamnit.”  He would chirp out of nowhere.  Parenting Fail.  Just awesome.

Where did he pick that up, you ask?  Oh, I blame the NFL … and The Husband.  Every Sunday since The Boy was born, we religiously watch football all day long.  Monday nights as well, and lots of Thursday nights, too.  I’m sure he heard his Dad saying that hundreds of times during a Steelers game.

It was kind of funny the first couple of times he did it & we laughed – I mean, come on a baby cussing is funny –  and The Boy enjoyed the reaction, which only encouraged him to repeat it again.  Everyone else laughed too, his Grandparents, his Aunts & Uncles, and then it stopped being funny when he wouldn’t stop.  It stopped being funny when he’d screech it at the top of his lungs in the grocery store or in his religious day school.

I admonished the grown-ups.  “Stop encouraging him by reacting!”

We tried to correct it.  The discipline began … I tried to get him to stop by explaining it was a “naughty” word.  Didn’t work.  I told him, “We don’t say ‘Goddamnit, we say ‘Gosh Darnit.”

“No say Goddamnit, mama, I say Gosh Darnit.”  He’d parrot back to me, proud that he understood the difference.  Face Palm.

Then I tried giving him time-outs when he said it.  Also didn’t work.

I flicked his cheek with my finger a couple of times.  Didn’t work.

I ignored it when he said it.  Didn’t work.  But I kept on ignoring and reminding him that it was a naughty word that isn’t nice to say.  Eventually he stopped saying it because it no longer got a reaction from people.

However, looking back, it was really kind of hysterical when he would bust it out appropriately, as a perfect response in certain situations, with the under-the-breath mutterings of a disgruntled toddler:   ME: “No, Boy, you may not have another cookie, you’ve already had four!”   HIM: “Goddamnit.”  I literally had to turn my back and stifle my laughter.  And that gleam in his eye let ME know that HE knew that I thought it was cute.

After the whole “GD” incident, we were extra careful of the things we’d say.  And the parroting got really cute … His responses to stuff are a parroting of my responses, or from movies, tv shows, or other people in his life.

ME: “Boy, can I have a bite of your cheese?”
The BOY: “Oh, of course you can!”

ME: “Boy, would you like some more milk?”
The BOY:  “No, thank you, I’m good for now.”

ME: “Boy, you are supposed to be napping in there, quiet down!”
The BOY: “Uh, no, sorry, I can’t do that right now!”

The BOY: “Mama, did you just go potty?”
ME: “Yes, I sure did.”
The BOY:  “Oh, you did?!?!  Umi-riffic, you’re a good girl, mama.”  (note: umi-riffic comes from the show Team Umizoomi, a favorite of The Boy’s.)

The BOY: “Mama, I don’t like that behavior, I’m gonna give you a time out!”

I particularly adore when he busts out movie quotes – either out of the blue, or in response to something.  The reason I adore this is because both my husband and I are in the entertainment industry & regularly quote movies as part of our daily conversation, so to hear our son do it brings us immense joy.  He’s one of us.  And sometimes I have to ask him, “Who said that?”  Because he’s really good at obscure quotes.

Just today, we’re walking down the hall to go to his room and he rambles on with this little gem: “You blockhead! You kept me up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin, and all that came was a beagle! I didn’t get a chance to go out for tricks or treats. And it was all your fault! What a fool I was!! What a fool I was!! Trick or treats come only once a year, and I missed it sitting in a pumpkin patch with a blockhead.”

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

So, in my mind, this totally makes up for the GD incident.   My three-year old son loves The Peanuts just as much as I loved them when I was a little girl, (only I couldn’t quote their lines verbatim.)  And when they use the word “stupid” (which I never knew until I became a mom is actually quite frequently,) He pipes up with “Mama, stupid is a naughty word!”  See, vindication.  Yep, I’m one proud mama.