I guess I should be impressed that it hadn’t happened sooner. Unlike your child’s first crawl, first steps or first word, there are some milestones that you hope your baby never reaches. Sex would probably be at the top of that list, but instead, I am referring to cussing (or cursing.) There is something just wrong and foul about hearing an innocent little person utter a four letter word. Tonight, my daughter said hers for the first time. Awwwwwwwww, isn’t she sweet?
I have only myself to blame. I’ve talked like a sailor for years. Every New Year’s resolution I have had for the last five or so years has been to clean up my potty mouth. I think I have really made some strides too, if I do say so myself. But, like everyone, I am not perfect. I slip up.
So this evening when the Biz e-Babies and I were playing before bed time, I noticed that one of the toys had stopping working. It is a battery-powered air tube of sorts that pops plastic balls out the top and plays music. The music was going but the balls weren’t popping. Then, I heard my oldest say, “The toy likes crackers.”
I looked up.
“What do you mean?” I asked, sensing something wasn’t right.
Then I saw the stack of Ritz Crackers lodged in the ventricle of the machine. My daughter created a little mini barricade which the balls couldn’t pass through. I figured it would be a simple enough fix to turn the toy upside down and dump out the crackers. Of course, what I hadn’t banked on was that my son would have chewed them up just enough to create a goo layer that would stick to the toy’s plastic walls.
I started to smack the bottom of the toy with my hand to shake it loose and when that didn’t even work, my daughter said, “DAMN IT!” Then she stood looking at me and the toy with her hands on her hips in a very discouraged yet authoritative way.
I was a little surprised but it was so funny that she has used the word in the right context and with a very fitting mannerism that I tried hard not to smirk. I reprimanded her and we moved on.
That was our big milestone moment. Three years and three months in the making.
I asked my daughter to find something long that I could stick down in there and dislodge the sticky cracker. The thing was no bigger than a dime, but it was just enough to prevent anything from passing through the tube.
She brought me a wooden spoon, a plastic hammer, a spatula and another cracker—which was of no use at all – and then I began to think we may not have the right device to get this piece of cracker out.
I went into my utensil drawer and fished around between the old birthday candles, tongs, and turkey baster – there had to be something. But, everything I found was too short or too straight to make it around the curvature of the tube.
Then, finally I saw the cord to my phone charger. * Light bulb moment! *
It had just the flexibility and length we needed to free that tacky cracker. I gently lowered the cord down the shaft like I was freeing one of the coal miners in Chile. It didn’t catch. I tried it again, but overshot the target. Then on the third try I successfully chipped away at one portion of the cracker. It took one more time to loosen all the remnants but at last the plastic chamber was free of cracker residue and the plastic balls were again able to frolic and fly through the air tube with ease.
My daughter cheered for me, “Yay Mommy!”
And with that, Santa forgave her slight indiscretion. She has two more strikes until she makes the naughty list.
My little girl’s all grown up. Sniffle…sniffle