My talking toddler is an amazing little creature. At first he would mostly babble and jargon, now he says sentences. His newest feat is to repeat words he hears in music we are playing or on the radio. My husband is a hip-hop aficionado but songs with curse words have now been relegated to the after-bedtime hours for fear of having our toddler repeat them to his teachers at school or on the playground. He doesn’t really repeat things he hears on NPR, but I am hoping that one day he will start reciting things he learns on All Things Considered or better yet from the TED Technology hour.
I must admit that I taught him a “bad” word. Completely unknowingly. It’s not even a real curse word but it’s still not something I want him to repeat with hand movements. To keep him distracted during diaper changes and during his twice daily rub downs with petroleum jelly (he has had some eczematous flares that are now under control), I would recite body parts to him and tickle him. When I got to his butt he would giggle as I said “booty, booty, booty”.
One day as I was changing he ran up to me and said “booty, booty, booty” as he grabbed my butt; full on butt grab, the little bugger just dug in. I laughed, handed him a truck and kept it moving. It became concerning when he would bee-line toward me any time I was changing or heading to the bathroom. He would recite “booty, booty, booty” as he proceeded to grab my butt, he even tried to reach into the toilet once. He has now become a Booty Monster! My husband and I have been working for the last 2 weeks to get him to understand not to touch butts or other private parts. He’s almost 2 so this process goes mostly like this:
- see smiling toddler approaching with hands raised and fingers splayed saying “booty, booty, booty”
- Mommy says “no Zo, this is mommy’s booty, you cannot touch”
- Zo looks questionably at Mommy (I know he’s thinking but a few weeks ago you were laughing)
- Mommy hands Zo a toy
- Zo takes toy and runs or more likely, Zo takes toy, throws it on the ground and begins to cry
- repeat daily for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks
Now, Mommy second guesses every gesture and phrase that is now cute but could potentially turn Zo into a raging maniac. Who knew? Not this Imperfect Doctor-Mama. Fingers crossed he isn’t doing this at school but I just can’t bring myself to ask his teachers.