The first time she said it out loud, I did a double take. Did she just say “F it” or did she mean “Bucket?” Turns out she meant “F it” and she actually used it in context. She was frustrated with her seatbelt.


After I recovered, I told her that is not a nice word and we don’t say it. To which she said, “Yes I do.” I said, “No we don’t.” She said, “Yes I do.” I said, “NO – WE DON’T.” She said, “YES – WE DO!”


Since she is a 3 year old, this conversation was going nowhere fast so I changed the subject, turned up her Frozen CD really loud and started singing “The snow glows white on the mountain tonight…” Luckily she joined right in and it was over.


For now.


A couple weeks later, Tim and I went on a date and when we came home, the babysitter said, “It was an interesting night. Lots of surprises.” Turns out the minute we left, Wilder was “F this and F that” all night long. Our sitter explained that is not a nice word and it’s not a word we say. Wilder simply said, “It’s okay. We say it.” And the F tirade continued.


Yes she was showing off and yes she’s testing her 3-½-year-old limits, but this was a flag for us. The carseat F bomb could have been an isolated incident, but this took it to another level.


Tim and I are both pretty big potty-mouthers. We didn’t have a kid until we were in our 40s. We didn’t have any reason to censor ourselves, especially at home around the house. If I stubbed my toe on the couch (which I did a couple weeks ago and I think it’s actually broken), you better believe I didn’t say a simple and appropriate, “ouch, that hurt.” Instead I think it went something like this, “S, F, F, F, mother F, that F-ing hurt like a B!!!!!” And yes, I’m sure Wilder was nearby and heard it all and filed it away for future nights to torment babysitters and push my limits.


In the end, I need to be a better role model for my girl and give up a habit that is clearly not a great habit to begin with. I can do it. And I know Tim can do it too. We’ll have to keep each other accountable.


But I also feel the beginning of a new era in parenting – the era of Wilder saying all sorts of surprisingly funny, but often inappropriate things. Yesterday she said, “Hey mom, I have to tell you a secret!” She ran over, leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Nationwide is on your side.”


Looks like we may need to cut back on some of her shows too.