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Nostalgia Tuesday

Nostalgia Tuesday: Baby’s first “word you can’t say on television”

WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains words spoken by, but not suitable for, small children. If you’re offended by such language, stop reading now.

OK, everyone else still with me? Good.

It’ll be a couple of weeks before I can scan some new pictures for Nostalgia Tuesday posts, so I figured in the meantime I’ll just tell a few stories instead.

In most families, everybody remembers each kid’s “firsts.” First steps, first tooth, first bite of solid food … and baby’s first word is always a big one. It’s usually “mama” or “dada” or “ball” or something equally cute.

Nobody in my family really remembers what phrase I first uttered, but it was probably something like “car” or “bear” or “doughnut.”

However, there is universal agreement as to which of the seven words you can’t say on television first slipped out of my mouth. There’s absolutely no debate in our family; my first swear word was an emphatically loud “SHIT!”

Anytime there was a gathering of the immediate family and both sets of grandparents were present, you knew it was only a matter of time before one grandmother or the other started laughingly lamenting the day she realized her sweet little grandson had the mouth of a sailor. (Then again, what do you expect when you dress me up like THIS?)

The only debate is that both sets of grandparents would argue as to which heard me say it first. One grandmother claims that the first time I said it was in the local mall. I took off running towards the toy store and did a face plant when I tripped over my stubby little toddler feet. The other swears it was in a grocery store after I dropped a big jar of pickles. As you can imagine, the stories got longer and more dramatic with each retelling, and each grandmother was more and more sure that she heard it first.

As I write this, I have three thoughts about those debates:

  1. It looks like I was a pretty sharp kid and had an impressive sense of context. I didn’t use the word indiscriminately, I used it at exactly the correct moments.
  2. You have to give my mom credit for keeping a lid on each incident as long as she did. The fact that both grandmothers think they can lay claim to the story shows that mom was pretty darned good at damage control.
  3. You also have to give my mom credit for teaching me such a great all-purpose word.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

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