The Elusive Mr. Ears
When my daughter was almost 3 years old she walked into my bathroom and asked me where her Night Night was. Night Night, AKA Mr. Ears, is a stuffed rabbit with whom she sleeps. As the 'lady' (term used loosely) of the house I get asked constantly to locate things that do not belong to me. (Where are my keys? My shoes? My wallet? My stuffed rabbit?) And I'll admit that I find it deeply annoying. In fact, on the right day, it can take me from zero to sixty in about 4 seconds.
Staring down into her lovely blue eyes I said, "Honey. Night Night is your bunny. He's YOUR responsibility. You just had him in your hands and I am sure that he is wherever you've left him. Go and find him yourself." Watching her walk away I felt a sense of pride, knowing that I was instilling in her the importance of being responsible for her own things.
Moments later, she re-entered the bathroom - bunnyless. "Mommy! I can't find Night Night and I've looked EVERYWHERE!" Grrr. Through clenched teeth I replied, "Honey. This is your bunny and your responsibility! You are the one who lost him. Back track your steps and I'm sure you'll find him." She sluffed out of the room with her shoulders crowding her ears.
I sagely stared into the mirror thinking, "Christ. Could I just have 5 minutes to myself to dry my hair?! Is it really too much to ask???"
Less than one minute later she was staring at me from the doorway. "Mommy?" I stared right back at her with my best Don't Ask Me Your Stupid Question Again look on my face. She trumped me by very clearly and calmly asking, "Where is my fucking Night Night?!"
She now had my undivided attention. I turned off the hair dryer - convinced that it had distorted her question - and said, "...w-w-w-what did you say?". She looked me square in the eye, took her right hand with the fingers pulled together (classic Italian gesture used to emphasize a statement) and laid it on me, "I SAID...Where...Is...My...FUCKING...Night Night?!"
Well. Isn't THAT just wonderful.
So I realized - at this very moment - that I had some serious soul searching to do. I mulled it over quite a bit. I need to quit swearing. My two year old just dropped the F-Bomb. She's not even in school yet so I can't blame this on some kid on the bus.
I figured that I had a choice to make:
Option 1: Teach my kids that there are some words that I say that they may NOT say.
Option 2: Try to quit swearing, at least in front of the children. My kids would grow up thinking I had some kind of strange speech impediment, "Where are my f...... keys? Give me the god d....! Where in the h... is the car?!"
Option 1 it is. So I told her not to say fuck anymore and helped her find the god damned bunny. And, in case you were wondering, it was on her bed just SLIGHTLY under her pillow. Right where she left it.
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