So it was one of those precious moments that every parent loves, some quiet time sitting on the couch cuddling with my beautiful two-year-old boy while he played with my hair and touched my face. I was enjoying every minute of it when suddenly Benjamin stopped, looked up at me with a loving expression and said ever so sweetly, “Mommy, you b**ch!”
Because I want my children to always be comfortable talking to me and not feel ridiculed regardless of what they say, I have a pretty darn good poker face. But I have a feeling it flickered for just a second there.
My mind whirred like a wind-up toy. Where would my son have heard that word? I’m sure he doesn’t know what it means, does he? But where did he learn it to begin with? What is going on?!
“What was that, honey?” I asked calmly and pleasantly.
“You b**ch!” he repeated with a smile.
Now I couldn’t be sure, but he sure wasn’t saying it like it was just something he had just heard and repeated. He was saying it like he had picked it especially for the situation. I decided that I must be misunderstanding him. Sure, it was the clearest pronunciation I’ve heard from him yet…but he couldn’t be saying THAT.
“I’m rich?” I asked.
“No,” said Benji with a slight frown.
He shook his head.
“I pitch? I stitch? I flinch? I hitch? I itch?” I asked, somehow managing to hide my increasing dismay.
“No,” said Benji with deliberation. “You B**CH.”
I still kept the poker face. Just barely. And because I didn’t know what else to say, I said, “I’m sorry, baby. I don’t understand.”
We looked at each other silently for a moment, both knowing we weren’t communicating and both wondering how to proceed. Then, suddenly, Benjamin’s face lit up like a ray of sunshine in an overcast sky. “Mommy,” he said slowly and carefully, “You…bi-cess!”
In my head there was wild applause as trumpets blared a victory song. I hugged my son and said, “Oh my sweet boy! You were trying to call Mommy a prince! And how smart you were to remember the word princess instead!”
“Yes,” Benjamin said simply. He beamed his bright smile at me once more and I cuddled him close with a silent sigh of relief.
I might have a little trouble making out my toddler’s words every once in a while. In fact, I may even think that he’s saying something irrelevant or inappropriate.
Fortunately, he’s smart enough to help out his poor foolish Mom and get his point across!