My daughter is now close to one year old, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that there are some words that she understands. She may not be able to say them yet, but there are certain people or objects we mention that she will immediately look or point at. The problem with her understanding words, is that there are now certain words we have to try not to say. You know the ones. Like in the picture below
(this is one of my favourite visual jokes from the film Hot Fuzz incidentally, with all the swearwords being asterisked except for the most offensive one).
I don’t think of myself as someone who swears a lot. I had a couple of housemates back in my early twenties who were prodigious and creative cursers, so I may have been a little worse back then, but now, not too bad I would say. However, it’s only now we’ve started trying not to swear in front of our daughter that we realise we may well do so more than we thought. Saying sugar, fiddlesticks, or melonfarmer instead of their more sweary counterparts does not come naturally, but we’re going to have to learn.
I have to think carefully about what music I’ll play around her as well. Not too difficult you might think. Just avoid certain rappers and Rage Against The Machine and you’re probably ok. Then I put on a John Grant album the other day, entirely forgetting its’ liberal use of the word motherf*cker. It’s not that she is going to be picking out individual words from a song for a while yet, and she will learn swear words eventually of course. I’d like to delay that for as long as possible though. I’m not looking forward to the day she looks up at me and asks in a sweet, innocent voice “Daddy, what’s a motherf*cker?” I suppose it may not happen quite like that, but I do remember getting a telling off for using the word twat when I was perhaps about 7 years old, not understanding that it was somewhat more offensive that the ostensibly very similar word twit.
To end, one of my favourite sweary songs: