Last night Child C had a little tiny owie in her foot. Just a dot of blood and a lot of tears. We got a baby wipe and, when I started to clean it off, she whispered very emphatically, "Ow, dammit. Dammit." I was a bit startled and just looked at her curiously. Did she just say what I think she did? Has she heard it that much? Well, between hubby working from home and my parenting frustration, I guess she may have heard it more often than I'd like. Wow. My eyes were opened to having to be more cautious verbally.
Then she looked up at me, as I was wiping her foot again, and she said, in that strong whisper, "Dam, Mommy." I told her gently, "Sweetie, you don't have to say that. You can just tell me it hurts. I'll be more gentle." Then she spoke up and said it more loudly, "Dab! Dab it, Mommy." The clarity brought a sigh of relief. She wanted me to d.a.b. her wound, not wipe it.
She wasn't swearing at all, simply wanting me to be more gentle. Whew. It's really hard to retrain a child to stop saying something once they start. We will learn this lesson without having to learn it the hard way, for now. (Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity to reflect and learn!)