3.17.2011

We're Idiots

"Put me down, you idiot!"

"What did you just say?"

"I said: Put me down, you idiot!"


I was so shocked, my only reaction was to laugh, which I know is exactly the opposite of what I should have done. But, seriously, I was shocked. W has had an incredible vocabulary and parrots just about everything he hears, but this has been one of his first naughty words.

We told him not to talk like that, not to use naughty words.

"But I like it, it's a good word," he argued.

"No, it isn't. I don't like when boys talk like that."

"Yes, it is."

I felt like an idiot, tried to wrack my brain to think of the last time I used the word around him and was reminded by Matt that it's something I often say. I blamed myself mostly.

Then last night W was jumping on our bed while Matt watched over him. Matt grabbed him when he thought he was getting too close to the edge. They were having fun, laughing, sharing a sweet moment. I was in the living room and could hear them.

And then: "Put me down, you idiot."

"That's not nice. We don't say words like that."

Matt claims the look in W's eyes was totally innocent and sweet, confused. "But, Mr. Potato Head does."

And suddenly it all made sense... He's been quoting Toy Story 3. The same way he was yelling "holy moly guacamole" for a while. He never really understood the meaning of idiot.

Now this leads me to something else... I've heard him say stupid a few times and found where they say it in Cars and Toy Story. Then I noticed the word moron is used in Cars. There have to be a ton of other naughty words that I would rather not hear my two year old say buried in his favorite movies. So, what's a mom to do? How to stay on top of this? (Taking the movies away is not an option, he'll hear it somewhere else if not there.)

We know that W has incredibly advanced verbal skills and a vocabulary way beyond his age, but we easily forget that he doesn't have the mental, emotional, or critical skills at the same level. We speak with him like he's an adult and, though he knows how to respond verbally, we don't always realize that he isn't comprehending everything we're saying. I use sarcasm with him. We joke with him. I need to remind myself that he is two and half. When we told him he was saying a bad word, we expected him to know that the word was idiot and what "bad word" means. But, he didn't, he must have been confused.

Sometimes the hardest thing about parenting is figuring out how to put the world in a context your children can actually understand. It's easier when they're little and you're just trying to teach them basics like "dog," "apple," and "bottle." But when your child can interact and respond all of that is so hard to keep top of mind.

I'm relieved W doesn't know what idiot means. And that he doesn't really think I am one or think that it's ok to call someone an idiot. But, I deserved it. I'm a parenting idiot sometimes. I guess we all are. I can admit it.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

I know, I was (and still am) disappointed to find that there are so many "naughty" words in DISNEY movies geared towards preschoolers. Grrr....
My little guys honestly only used these phrases a couple times. I tried to show them that those words can hurt feelings... and when they got older... warranted punishment. Good luck!