Lily, like most three year olds is a mimic. She takes mimicry to the next level, though. She recites lines from jokes and movies with perfect timing and accents for various parts. Right now, for example, she is going around saying "Ketchup, ketchup. I'm riding the bus, I'm shopping" in her best Homer Simpson voice (her daddy's TV choice, not mine). This talent has a dark side. She seems drawn to repeat he most inappropriate expression 20-30 times.
Case in point, this summer's episode of potty mouth syndrome. I will admit that I am to blame for this one. I am a very mild mannered person. I relish my bookish and introverted ways. I would rather read or bake or go to a yoga class. Well, you get the idea. I am however a recovering potty mouth. I don't know where it came from, but I could hold my own with Marines. Over the years I have really reigned myself in. I still have one old favorite left, jackasss (or his cousin dumbass). Usually it is used while driving or in reference to Rob (when the kids are out of ear shot). For some reason, Lily loves the word jackass. One night while putting her to bed she looked up at me with the sweetest face and said "Sometimes, my daddy, he be a jackass." I guess the kids weren't really out of ear shot. After swallowing my laughter, I explained that jackass was a mean word and she couldn't say it. That seemed to satisfy her. Until this summer.
This summer, Lily learned to talk out of the side of her mouth like Bill Murray (I swear she has never seen Caddy Shack). One day while we were going to the vet Lily says (out of the side of her mouth) "I couldn't stand being with those jackasses any longer." (in reference to her father and sister). At this point I began to worry that she would get kicked out of preschool or worse. I got a hold of myself (it was shockingly funny after all) and told her to pick another word. She chose pine cone and then proceeded to use it correctly for the rest of the summer (ie "What a pine cone."). I finally had to ban pine cone when she called her grandmother a pine cone (my mom didn't know what it meant, but my brother was quick to enlighten her and I wanted to melt into the ground).
Now she is reformed, whenever she hears a bad word (yes I told her everyone that I could think of. It's George Carlin for preschoolers, well a little cleaner) she runs to the offender and states "You can't say shit. Shit is a bad word. We are a loving family, we don't say shit." Great, I have given birth to a pint sized Andrew Dice Clay. The only thing that comforts me is when Rob tells me that he was reciting Steve Martin routines (you know the one about the cat?) at the age of four. I guess she comes by it honestly.