Cussing preschoolers and God’s mercy

It’s been a while, yeah? RECAP TIME.

In the months since I last posted to my blog, I have managed to;

-Make some new friends

-Accidentally light my kitchen stovetop on fire

-Cut all my hair off with the assistance of Youtube tutorials

-Pretended to be a hostage and get “rescued” by a SWAT team

-Lost, gained, lost (and gained. Sigh) the same 15 pounds multiple times

-Accidentally taught my youngest kid how to say the f-word.

Cussing kid in question.

I feel like most of the above could be potential blogpost fodder, but the last experience is the one I’m the most grateful for.

My mouth has a reputation among my friends, for both a lack of tact and for (sadly) an abundance of swearing. Reactions range from lighthearted jabs to clear rebuke. Friends who know me will agree that my mouth is being sanctified, and so I like to consider myself a reforming loudmouth.

But a few months ago, my potty mouth had a very inopportune slip-up. I was enjoying a cup of coffee on my couch, when my hand fumbled. My burning-hot coffee landed in my lap, and the f-bomb was muttered under my breath.

Or maybe I screamed it, who can really say for sure?

Well, Katherine can say for sure. Because she heard me from across the living room, and promptly repeated my obscene outburst.

That’s right, the nonverbal three year old that took years to learn her own name picked up the f-word in one attempt.

What ensued since that day is a near hourly chattering of vulgarity from Katherine. She doesn’t understand what the word means at all, nor does she understand our discouragement from using the word. My husband recently tried to explain to her;

“That’s a naughty word that we shouldn’t say. Mommy was wrong for saying it.”

*glares at mommy*

“Can we use another word sweetheart?”

With pride, Katherine just looks up at him and repeats the obscenity. Daddy has given up, and today she drops f-bombs at the store, school and even church. Yup. Church, much to my humiliation. These people know my kid well, and they know me well. Which means they have a safe guess as to who is responsible for Rin’s new vocabulary.

As mortifying as it might be to watch my child mirror my immaturity, there has been a gracious flipside. In addition to mimicking this one naughty word, Katherine has begun mimicking nearly every word we’ve spoken since then. Her language has exploded in two months from about five words to around fifty words. We assume this is the result of a new seizure medication that she started taking.

Wil and I had once accepted that we might not hear her develop speech at all. She had been previously unresponsive to language, both expressive and receptive. So to watch her repeat words, execute requests and even start putting words together in awkward sentences has been extraordinary.

The mercy that my heavenly Father has poured out on me has swallowed up all my own clumsiness and shortcomings as a parent. And over the last few months, I have cried many tears of gratitude over my daughter’s words.

Even the naughty ones.

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