First Bad Word

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Happy First Friday of August! Last month we brought you Daddy's First Diaper Change. This month, it's all about a kid's first you won't necessarily want to celebrate.  For the thin-skinned, there are about a thousand ways your child can embarrass you-drooling all over well-meaning folk, peeing and pooping nonstop, screaming, crying, throwing Academy Award-worthy tantrums in Target, and, finally, stripping down to a diaper at a funeral (yes, that would be my daughter). But no public humiliation is as great as when your fresh-faced little one opens his or her adorable little mouth and in that sweet little voice lets a big, fat profanity fly out. It shocks you to the core. Not because you haven't heard such language before (let's be honest, they've learned it from you), but because nothing says overly permissive parenting more than a toddler with a trucker mouth. I know that "titty" is not a technically curse word-it's not even PG-13-but it sure sounds dirty coming from an 18-month-old's mouth. So I was reeling when I picked my sweet baby girl up and she, once again, said it: "Hello, Titties!" greeting my breasts like they were great friends, which they were since we were breastfeeding. Now my daughter did all the usual ones that you can pass off in those early language acquisition days: the accidental slippage where words such as "duck" become F-bombs or "itches" sounds a lot like "b------." These are common mistakes; it's when your tiny talker has full-on proper usage that it gets bad. For me, that was the day my daughter shouted: "I want titties!" across a crowded room. I looked at my husband in horror; it wasn't a fluke. We had, for weeks, been testing out nicknames for my breasts with her-"num nums" and "lechetias" were the frontrunners, I thought. "Titty" wasn't even a contender, which begs the question: Where had she heard the word? We still aren't sure, although my husband remains my primary suspect. Although I've never heard him say "titties" (what post-adolescent man does?), I know she didn't pick it up from me. He swears it's not him, or his friends, all of whom I've accused at different times. Wherever she picked it up from, she's not letting it go; instead, she'll point to my chest and proudly tell any one who might be listening, "I eat Mommy's titties!"

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