We parents hear ourselves in our children's language. I swear, kids are like mini super-sound systems who pick up even the slightest comment mumbled under your breathe and broadcast it via surround sound for the entire world to hear.
Apparently, I say a few choice phrases repeatedly like but not limited to "Oh, come on!" "Wellllll ..." and "What the heck!?"
And recently, the two year old has demonstrated that he's picked up on the latter of the three. As we were getting ready to leave the house for a Christmas party a few weeks ago, he passionately declared, "Mommy, where the heck my shoes?!"
The hubs and I stopped dead in our tracks, looked down at the very serious face of our little man and then almost peed our pants from laughing so hard. This reaction was just what the two year old needed to fuel his love for the new phrase. Suddenly, we began hearing it consistently ... and then nearly constantly.
"Daddy, who the heck here?"
"What the heck that noise?"
"Where the heck the dog?"
And it was funny for a little while. And then we went to Target.
As we were checking out and paying for our groceries, the two year old spotted a nice middle aged lady sitting at the end of the check-out counter next to us. She was quietly waiting for her family to finish shopping. My little guy eyed her up. She smiled at him. He smiled back. She said hello. He bid hello back. And then, in super-surround sound stereo, he excitedly and clearly asked her, "And what the heck is your name?!"
Shocked, surprised and stunned she replied, "Well, my name is Donna."
The toddler grinned ear to ear as my face turned bright red and my blood pressure rose about 80 points. I forced an embarrassed smile at the nice lady, Donna, if you will, and explained to her that we are still working on manners. And then I immediately prompted him to say "It's nice to meet you." And he did, so at least she didn't think we were totally terrible parents who teach their kids tons of inappropriate phrases.
As the very nice lady said farewell, I immediately began explaining to the two year old that it doesn't sound nice when he begins questions with "what the heck." But it fell on deaf ears. Because if you know anything about mini super-sound systems, you know that they always run out of recording memory when you actually need something recorded.