Oh, my. You know how babies see their mamas as an extension of themselves? Apparently I had been thinking of my boys as little extensions of me. And I've been finding out the hard way that they are intensely intelligent toddlers who are playing with the power of language.
I don't have to just watch my own mouth; I have to watch theirs now, too.
At bath time a few nights ago, Gus suddenly shouted "Dammit!" while giggling wildly. Moviedad and I looked at each other in mild alarm. Who taught him that? Then Jack joined in and it was a dammitfest. We were trying not to giggle, because that would only encourage them. But it was really funny... I was also thinking hard about where they got that word. It must have been me, right? I mean, who else do they spend all day every day with? But I was pretty sure I didn't say that... I try not to use objectionable words in front of the boys.
For that night, I simply gave them another word to use, one that they thought was just as funny. "Oh, did you just say 'darn it'? What a funny thing to say, 'darn it'!" Then Moviedad and I laughed and made a big show of snapping our fingers and making faces while saying "darn it". That successfully turned the dammitfest into a darnitfest.
Then yesterday I heard Gus say "Dammit, Barney!"
And it was at that moment I realized I can no longer watch How I M.et Your Mother on the r.oku while they're playing in the room.
Because my boys aren't extensions of me. They are two little sponge-parrots who soak up everything around them and repeat it back.