Children, at least mine, seem to have big ears at inconvenient times. It always amazes me how their ears work perfectly when it is something I don’t want them to hear. However, ask them to pick up their toys or come to the table for dinner and suddenly they can’t hear!
My younger boy went through a frightening stage of swearing at home and at daycare. F*@K seemed to be his favourite word. One day when I picked him up from daycare the staff informed me about his use of this fancy word. They advised me that when they told him to use a new word my three year old’s response was, “Me daddy says it.” Opps! Those ears have been tuned in every time one of those fancy words slips out of anybody’s mouth.
Anyway, to try and turn this around I started trying to encourage the use of another word, and I tried to use the word myself. Of course he didn’t pick it up. I did get some belly roaring laughter from both my children a few times when I came out with holy smokes and fiddle sticks too. Eventually the F-word worked its way out of his vocabulary to be picked up by another of my favourites, you got to be kidding me. Not such a bad statement to be picked up by a three year old.
The big ear trouble doesn’t end there though. Repeating any word, idea, or sentence that makes me cringe or my face blush is my boy’s specialty especially when it is the most inconvenient. For example an elderly man came over to say hi to my three year old because the man was drawn in by my son’s façade of cuteness. My son said, “Hi Ass.” Now in this case the elderly man thankfully either didn’t hear or gracefully pretended not too. I was still mortified. For a little while the word ass was my youngest son’s clearest spoken word.
Needless to say it is a constant question of who is listening. Some conversations have to wait and then still be whispered after bedtime. I say whispered because it is amazing the things they hear even when they are sleeping (or apparently sleeping). Some things are just better thought then ever spoken aloud and swear words (for those of us who have them slip out on occasion) need to be replaced with a word that feels similar when flying out of the mouth.
Ears: they are listening!
By Shari Marshall – April 6, 2017