It happened a little over a week ago. Little A was having some quiet time in her cot. I was slouched sloth-like on the nearby futon - the cover in dire need of a clean (toothpaste gets everywhere) - reading a book and trying to ignore the fact that the passing time was anything but peaceful. This was noisy time...
So Little A was role playing with an assortment of in-house cot teddies... There's Mother and Father and Kitty Cat and Rowena. It's the game she usually plays, and I give her cursory glances as I turn the pages of my novel, settling into the thread of the plot as my daughter mediates a dispute between her furry family....
"Be quiet you silly buggers!"
Now that word commands my attention. I sit up, decidedly unsloth-like, alert as a meerkat, shocked at the words spilling forth from Rowena's stitched mouth.
"Pardon? What did you just say?"
"Be quiet you silly buggers."
"We don't say the word bugger. Where did you learn it from?"
"Saffron at nursery said it."
"I don't think she did. That's not a nice word."
"Silly buggers. Silly buggers. Silly buggers."
"Little A, I'm warning you..."
"Are you going to put me on the thinking cushion mummy?" She asks, her eyes goading, full of mischief.
"Don't tempt me Little A," as I wrestle every muscle intent on pulling 'the poker face' into a smile. This, I realise with eagle eyed clarity, is when a mother undoubtedly needs botox.
I'm treading on a knife's edge here. I mustn't laugh. I cannot collude with the rapscallion's behaviour. Secretly though, I'm on her side. This is hilarious. I love the way she articulates bugger with such phonetic roundness. And where did she learn it from? Not me surely? Soap hasn't been within an inch of my mouth apart from the aftermath of the ladder incident - but that was just a one off, a rogue island amidst a daily sea of well mannered diction...(honestly)
"RIGHT! TO THE THINKING CUSHION!"
And after a tearful stint on the cushion that-must-not-be-named, Little A apologises for her rueful choice of words. And then there was no more of that word.
Until yesterday teatime...
Little A was playing witches and mermaids with a plastic IKEA knife and fork as I finished the scraps from her sheep-cow-pig themed plastic plate.
"Silly buggers," she mutters under her breath.
"Er, Little A, what did you say?"
"It wasn't me mummy, it was the sea witch."
"Really? I didn't think forks could talk."
"And it was my little finger too," waggling a small digit at me.
Little A smiles at her cleverness, her fait accompli at having accused both a fork and a finger of language most foul.
And I am stumped.
Do I draw attention to her words and make a meal out of it with sessions on the thinking cushion? Or do I just ignore it?
Calling upon all mothers, how do you handle the situation if your wee innocent bairn swears?
I apologise for the language used in this post, it was Little A, not me. I have since added soap to the shopping list. And Younger Dad thinks she may have picked up that word from Granny of all people - Cussons for her next Christmas....