A couple of weeks ago some books came that I had bought for my son. I left them on his chair right before bedtime so he'd find them and be all three-year-old happy about more books about Trucktown, Cars, and dinosaurs.
When he ran into his room, my husband said, as he followed him in, "What the...!?"
Our son said, "WHAT THE HECK?!"
Now, our son said this in his ultra dramatic, high-pitched voice that he's perfected over the last few months, so not only was it shocking because of what he just said, but it was darn cute because of his drama king persona.
My husband and I looked at each other. I shook my head. My husband's eyes got big.
We must have said something to the boy at that point, but I can't really remember. I just remember thing, ohhhhhh no. And, how many times have I said "what the heck" in front of him. Try as I might, I know I say, "Oh MY GOD," on many occasions, but lately I have been catching myself and saying, instead, "Oh my" or "Oh my gosh." One day the boy let out an "Oh my GOD!" over something, and I told him not to say that. When he asked why, all I could really answer was that it wasn't nice and some people won't like it. I mean, really, how does one explain that to a three-year-old? Especially when I find no particular offense to the statement except that I know it would offend other people, but since I find no real offense to it, I really can't explain it to him in a way he would understand.
After that bedtime, my husband vowed to watch his mouth more (and, in his defense, he has gotten way better with his, um, vocabulary, these past two years then he ever has in the time I've known him). I too said I would try to not say "What the heck."
Unfortunately we have no control over the other kids in his life.
Fast forward a few days. One of us let out a "what the heck!" over some minor thing that was probably inconsequential but, as we all know, old habits die hard.
"My teacher says we don't say 'what the heck'," our boy told the offending parent matter-of-factly.
My husband and I looked at each other.
"Yes, you're right," my husband said. "You shouldn't say that."
"Yeah, my teacher says we don't say 'What the heck'," our boy told us again.
"Yes, she's right," I said.
Since this minor infraction, we've been informed that we can't save spots anymore (there was a week where our boy was really gung-ho about saving spots in our house - either we save his spot or he saves one of ours) and that saying "the dog is stupid" is NOT nice. I'm not sure what dog he was talking about or why the dog was stupid, and I'm still not sure he gets that saying anything is stupid is not nice, but it's a start.
The funny thing about all this is is that his teacher is the sweetest young lady (just writing that makes me feel really old), and to think she has to put up with these kids saying "what the heck!," telling poop jokes, saying one is going to fart on another kid, and now the dog is stupid, makes me wonder how she remains so sweet.
Just tonight our boy burped and without thinking twice about it announced, "that was an ice cream burp." I found this particularly funny. I laughed. I shared it the story to my husband, who also found it funny. So guess who either learned something new this week or will be teaching others soon?