A couple of months ago, Isabelle picked up the phrase “Dang it!” at school. I tried to curb her use of the phrase when she began using it. I started with, “That’s not how we express our frustration.” When I heard it again I said, “That’s not how we speak in this house.” By the third time I heard it, I invoked something I knew would make her stop, “If you keep saying it, Ari will repeat it and that’s not how we want him to talk, do we?” She agreed that wouldn’t be a nice thing for a little boy to say. Therefore, Isabelle cut back on her use of the phrase “Dang it!” to show frustration or disgust. But every now and then, that little phrase seeped out of her mouth.
Last week, those two little naughty words spilled out of her mouth again. It was just once, but this time, Ari was standing next to her listening. She said, “Dang it!” I glared at her. Just as she said “Sorry,” Ari uttered something that sounded like “Dang it!”
But it wasn’t “Dang it!”
It was worse.
Ari said, “Dammit!”
Oh. My. G-d.
I knew he didn’t get “Dammit” from Isabelle (She doesn’t know the word damn!) any more than he got it from us. It was just his way of repeating “Dang it!” Except, it sounded way worse in his two-year-old voice.
Despite Isabelle curbing her use of that two-word phrase, Ari continues to repeat “Dammit” at the most inopportune times. One of those times was while we worshipped in synagogue this weekend. Thankfully, everyone else was singing and no one — except for me and maybe the kids behind us — heard Ari.
As for me, I’m trying to ignore the phrase that sounds way too close to damn it coming out of my two-year-old’s mouth because I know to ignore — rather than having a big reaction — is the way to eradicate something you don’t want to hear your child say.
It’s been four LONG days of ignoring the “Dammit” utterances. This makes me wonder just how much longer it will take for me to ignore this problem away.