Translation: Vagina, Va-JJ, Puke, Kepyas, Kiki, Pipi, Pussy, Taliv
Have you ever tried saying “non-child-friendly” things in front of a child? How about blurting out expressions unaware of the terms you used? Regardless if it’s been done on purpose or not, what matters is this: the child heard it. So, have you had that experience? I know I did.
We all know that a child’s brain (especially those under 7 years old) is like a sponge. They can absorb stuff really fast it would surprise you how much they learn from even the most mundane of things. Aware of such amazing ability, Rael and I promised each other to strive hard to control cussing, swearing, saying profane words and nasty comments or even just using terms that are not childlike (if you know what I mean). Frankly, it’s quite a struggle especially for Rael but so far, we’re doing good. Or so I thought.
I was lying in bed last night, waiting for Ezra’s bedtime when Ezra put a blanket over my bent knees. He then went between my legs, pretending to be inside a tent. For a minute or so, he was just giggling there and even singing rhymes. I was about to ask him to come out when, to my surprise, he said, “Mommy’s bilat!”
I. WAS. SHOCKED.
I froze for a second and then I stopped myself from laughing so hard.
“What?” I asked calmly while trying to hide any amusement on my voice.
He went out of his “tent” and said, “Mommy’s bilat”, a cheeky smile painted across his face.
“Where did you learn that?”
“Me? I don’t say that word… seriously, who taught you that?”
Immediately in my mind, I knew it was Rael. I mean, it just HAD to be him. First of all, I don’t say BILAT. I don’t remember ever saying it since Ezra was born. Second, I taught Rael that bisaya word ages ago so it’s impossible for Ezra to hear it from me. Third, I just can’t recall ever saying BILAT lately.
“Hmmm, I know it wasn’t me, Ezra. Ikaw ha…”
“Is it funny, Mom?”
Uhm, is it? The word’s not supposed to be funny but the way he blurted it out was actually pretty funny. Right? But of course, I said it’s not.
Ezra was giggling.
Minutes have passed and yet I still couldn’t get it off my mind. I knew it wasn’t me. Did Ezra just lie? How on earth did he learn how to lie? I began to worry.
This morning, Rael and I talked about it while I was preparing some snacks. A silly man that he is, he laughed his ass off. Like HAHAHA all the way to the galaxy.
“Grabe, naaalala nya!”
“Ikaw talaga ang salarin, noh?!”
“No ha. I teach him silly stuff but BILAT? Expression mo kaya yan? May kasunod pa nga yan eh!”
“What?! Taka lang! I don’t say BILAT ha. What would be the next word then?”
“Ewan ko sayo basta may ganyan kang expression.”
“No noh. That was a long long time ago siguro? I remember it was either you or Clinton who taught Ezra something like that.”
Then I accidentally dropped the fork I was holding.
“AYY BILAT PISOT!!!!”
Bilat wasn’t the first “non-child-friendly” word Ezra learned. We had already gone through SH*T before. When he was 2, he also said “FVCK” like 10 times while he was playing with his toy cars. When I told him off, he would randomly say “FVCK” in jest. Clearly, he thought it was funny. As a normal person, I found it a bit funny, too. But as a parent, of course I wouldn’t want my tot to grow up saying things like that! So I don’t know what works for you but this is what I learned:
- Do not keep on repeating the word to your child. “Don’t say fvck, okay?” “Stop saying fvck.” “Saying fvck is not good.“ “Fvck is bad.” (Spouse), I just heard (child) say fvck again.” STOP IT. First of all, children, especially toddlers, don’t like to be told what to do, more so on what NOT to do. Generally, the more you say no, the more they would do it. Second, the more he hears the word, the more it’ll stick to him.
- Do not laugh. Or at least not again, if you did the first time. If the child thinks the word makes you laugh, he’ll think it’s funny. Chances are, he’ll keep on saying that not only to you but to others, too!
- If the child mentions the word while obviously trying to fish out any reaction from you, don’t react. Let it slide, act like you didn’t hear it and maintain a good poker face. He’ll soon drop it when he realizes it doesn’t have any effect.
As parents, we have different ways of handling things. What worked for us might not work for you. Also, if the child uses the word naturally even when he’s not at home, please tell me what to do. Rael and I haven’t experienced that yet so let me know how you handled the situation. Share your experiences — funny, shocking, extra-funny or extra-shocking — on the comments bilat… I mean, below! 😋