There are many reasons not to curse in front of your child. Not the least of which is that every word you say will at some point come back to you. JD and I tried to prep for this long before having Sage. We spent months test-driving alternative swear words. Sorkin was going to be our sub word for fuckin’. Because Aaron Sorkin seriously jumped the shark with Studio 60. Skype was going to be our sub word for shit, because it is so Sorkin aggravating when trying to have a conversation on Skype. And Mother Hubbard was going to be our phrase for mother fucker. None of these words stuck and so we now occasionally hear our own foul-mouthed expletives echoed by our daughter.

For instance:  We were home in Cincinnati visiting my folks. We were driving past the temple that I grew up going to. It was the place where I had my Bat Mitzvah, attended Sunday school and spent countless High Holidays. I pointed it out to Sage saying, “that’s mommy’s temple.” She responded with “Fuckin’ Christ!”  Or there was the time when my friend Julie handed Sage a handful of Cheerios and I said, “Say thank you to Julie” and Sage said “Thank you bitches.” Or, most recently, the time where Sage tried to teach our neighbor who is just a few months younger to say “damn it.”  Sage had both hands on this girl’s shoulders, she looked her square in the eyes and said “Damn it.” When the neighbor girl just giggled Sage shook her head like, “OK, I see you don’t get this, but I’m going to stick with you. Let’s try this again. ‘Damn it.’”

And then there is my all-time favorite. A friend was reading Sage Goodnight Moon. As she read she stopped at all the pages to ask, “and what is this?” or “Can you find the cow? Can you find the moon? Can you find the cow jumping over the moon?” After going along like this for a while she reached a full spread of the Bunny’s room and asked:

Friend: Do you see the chair?

Sage: Yes(Sage points to the chair)

Friend: Do you see the bed?

Sage: Yes (Sage points to the bed)

Friend: What else do you see?

Sage: (Pauses then waves her hands slowly over the picture) Oh… all this shit.

At 22 months these are her words. The silver lining is that she is not yet in school so the way I see it is we have roughly three years to erase these words from her memory. Then, she can rediscover them on her own. She can learn them on the school bus or the walls of a bathroom or in some movie that she sneaks into. And when she says them at the dinner table we can sound all surprised like “where in the world did you ever hear those words, certainly not from us, all we say around here is Mother Hubbard!”