Time to fess up. Another mom asked me, upon hearing that I am a parent and family educator, “So are you a hypocrite?” to which I responded, “Totally.” Sort of. I’m not a total hypocrite because I also always say to parents stuff like, “You can only do your best,” and “Everyone makes mistakes.” Of course I sometimes label my child inadvertently or praise him too much. It’s not like I never lose my cool. And I often bribe him into his car seat with inappropriate items from my purse. Nobody’s perfect.

The other thing that came out at my mommy gathering: my child says “shit.” Appropriately. In context. Like when he drops something. Or falls off his ride-on Little Tikes car. I try not to laugh. And…he learned it from me. Yes, I do remind parents constantly that they are mostly teaching their child by example, and that, “Do as I say, not as I do,” is a joke. “You must model the behavior, language and tone you want to see repeated.” Uh….oops. It’s okay though. Because everyone does make mistakes. Myself included. Obviously. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Anyone who says they are, is either lying or won’t let you meet their kids.

So my tactic was to ignore this special word that he’s been using. It hasn’t really worked though. Now sometimes he pipes up from the backseat: “Shit, shit, shit, shit.” It seems he’s confused as to why I refuse to acknowledge this particular word. My latest approach thanks to a hot tip from a Facebook friend: repeat back a similar sounding word. So now when he says “Shit,” I say, “Spit, spit, spitttooooey!”

Whatever. I’m sure he’s too little to offend anyone with his vulgar language. I have plenty of time before I have to worry about parents walking away from us muttering under their breath, “She teaches other parents and her child says that!”