Yap, yap yap.  The Worm is mimicking noises and words unlike ever before.  It’s like his brain went into hyperdrive shortly after he began placing one foot in front of the other.  Now, the only time our house is quiet is when he is napping or sleeping.  Otherwise, it’s jibber-jabber and pitter-patter time!

I’ve decoded some of his new toddler babble:

“Me Me!”  (Sure, let’s pick 3 more and make lemonade!)

“Dak!”  (Yes, it is.  I’ll turn on the light for you.)

“Ah Ta?”  (You can’t have Otter Pops for breakfast.  Or.  Yes, I’ll make hot dogs for lunch.)

“Na Na.”  (Your nana loves you.  Or.  You want a banana?)

I take full credit for helping Worm increase his vocabulary.  He’s still a little unsure about my techniques, but he should rest assured that my “Proven” and “Revolutionary” method of taping headphones to his ears and looping the audio recording of ‘Encyclopedia Brittanica’ is going to genius a child make.  He’ll hate me for it later when he’s scaring off girlfriends with diatribe about the migratory patterns of the elephant whale.  ‘Brains before broads’ as my parents used to say!

Unfortunate problems arise when the headphones are removed.  Like the fact that he can hear me speaking.  Rarely (of course), certain situations will transform some of my more intellectual spouting into a string of 4 to 5 obscenities.  I used to think my mutterings were incomprehensible to those under 3 feet tall.  Until now.

“Shit!” erupts from a little mouth in the room.

Geez, he’s got ears like a bat!  I crack an imperceptible smile at the gusto behind his emphatic swear.  Then I kick myself for saying it first. (You see, my college football team gave up another touchdown.  It was a perfectly valid reason for swearing.)  I try not to make eye contact with Worm or acknowledge any of the past 30 seconds.

“Shit!” as he points at the football players on the TV.

Again?  WTF?  Does he have to do EVERYTHING daddy does?  I can’t even get my son to enunciate “Hi!” and the word shit just rolls off his tongue like a sailor’s.

I just taught a 19-month old his very first curse word (there goes my ‘Dad of the Year’ prize) and I really thought it would be his mother that would write that chapter of “How Not to Parent”.  I’m embarrassed and dumbfounded and slightly proud in a “my son has taken another step closer to becoming a man today” sort of way.

I don’t usually have a problem with curse words, especially when used in the right context.  It’s not like Worm used the s-word inappropriately either.  I applaud him for that.  I just imagined the dirty words would begin well after Worm was finished with dirty diapers.  I know we may face some parental backlash when Worm decides to finely articulate the more vulgar term for feces in a public setting.  But if we get shunned at the playground, we’ll just have to go somewhere we’ll fit right in…like the local sports pub.

You Got Daddy’s Dirty Mouth Too, Son.

Gavin – 18; Dad – 8 (I’m giving myself a point for this one.  It’s because of my specially formulated brain-boosting techniques that he can even say the word “shit” at his age.)