Posted by: cordy74 | March 31, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

A recurring theme on television clip shows has been the tidbits that come out of the mouths of our children.  They can go from saying the cutest, most innocent things to repeating at the most inconvenient moments what we regret having said in front of them.  My 4 year old daughter is no different.  There are several instances I recall clearly, ranging from cute to hilarious.

The first time I really remember N busting out some overtly adult comments is when she was about 2 1/2 years old.  We were visiting my parents who live about 6 hours away. We don’t get to see them nearly as often as I wish but when we do visit my dad makes a lasting impression.

While not vulgar, Dad tends to work a few choice swear words into his everyday vocabulary.  At any given moment you will typically hear a hell, damn or shit.  Stick around long enough and you might even hear such eloquence as “ass-plosion” or “ass-quake”.  Given that any 2 to 5 year old is a veritable sponge, some of this loquaciousness is bound to sink in.  Anyway, back to the story at hand.

My wife and I were getting ready to leave my parent’s house for a trip to Wal-Mart.  We were gathering up the detritus that typically must follow us along on even the most mundane and brief of trips when N decided we were not moving fast enough.  She walked over to the front door, grabbed the door knob and, tugging on it, proceeded to belt out, “Let’s go, DAMMIT!”

I have to tell you that there is very little that is as funny as a 2 1/2 year old blond girl saying something like that with a huge smile on her face.  As I turned away toward the kitchen to try to compose myself I could hear my wife trying to tell our daughter that wasn’t a very nice thing to say.  All the while I could clearly hear in her voice the smile that was plastered on her face.  I could also hear my dad asking what was going on.  Even though he was sitting about 7 feet away from the front door this was before he got his hearing aids and was unable to understand exactly what his granddaughter had blurted out.  Once we told him, Dad seemed very proud of himself.  After I thought about it I realized I was also incredibly proud that N not only said “dammit” but she used it correctly in a sentence.

Last year, at the age of 3, N came strolling down the hall from our bedroom saying something over and over.  She had been watching one of her movies on the TV and VCR in our room and had heard something worth repeating.  I had an inkling of what she was saying but waited for her to come into the living room before I said anything to her.

Choosing my tone carefully I asked N what she was saying.  When she said it again she did so in what I think of as a “cartoon character” voice.  She doesn’t use her normal voice and instead tries to imitate the voices she hears when repeating things she has seen on TV shows or movies.  When she is doing this it is often difficult for me to discern what is being said.  I innocently asked one more time what she was saying.  N responded with what sounded like “damn”.

She then went on to point at a door and say, “Door damn”.  Pointing at a wall she said, “Wall damn”.  At this point I asked her where she had heard that word and she replied, “It’s just a word I’m trying out with other words.  Floor damn”.  With a little more prompting I was able to work out of N that she had heard “damn” on the movie The Last Unicorn.  Having never watched it I had to turn to my wife for confirmation.  She had not seen it in so long that she could not reliably confirm this but admitted it could be possible.  After another short discussion with N on what is and is not appropriate to say we decided to remove temptation and take The Last Unicorn out of N’s movie rotation.

The most recent incident happened this afternoon while we were getting ready to go to Lexington.  I pointed to the floor near my feet and told N to “plant your bottom so we can put on your socks and shoes”.  Once she had sat down and I began to put on her socks N said, “I’ll have to wait ten day for it to grow”.  I stopped putting on the sock and stared at her in confusion for a couple of seconds before glancing at my wife, sitting on the couch.  My wife then, in one of her “I’m going to speak slowly so you understand what I am saying” voices said, “You told her to plant her bottom.  When you plant something you have to wait before it grows bigger”.   I was finally fully aware of the conversation even though it had seemed so non sequitur just a few seconds before.  Honestly, what does waiting for something to grow have to do with putting on your socks and shoes?

At least this time N didn’t spit out anything vulgar.  Today’s utterance shows what I like to think of as a new level of sophistication concerning my daughter’s developing smartassedness, which she obviously comes by honestly from both myself and my wife.

What wisdom have you heard recently come from the mouths of your babes?


  1. Take a minute to link over to my wife’s blog and read about what was almost spelled out in magnetic letters on our fridge.

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