A couple months before Trouble turned 2, he started speaking in sentences. I think it had to do with having a new baby in the house and two older siblings. He realized he needed to start talking more in order to be heard. I was so excited when he put more than three words together. Usually I was the only one to fully understand what he was saying, but that's just one of the Mommy superpowers.
One day he said, "Damn it.", or at least that's what I thought he said. I had him say it again, and clear as day, he said, "Damn it, Mommy.". I think kids cursing is hilarious. This doesn't mean I condone it with my kids, or teach them bad words on purpose. But I've heard stories of different kids starting to say bad words, and it always makes me laugh. Which is exactly what I did when Trouble said that to me. Of course, this resulted in him saying it over and over, so I had to gather myself and tell him that he can't say that. But it sounded a little counterproductive, when we had been trying to get him to say more and more words, then all of a sudden I'm telling him not to say something.
Saying 'Damn it' continued randomly for a while. Princess would laugh. She knows not to say bad words. But, she would try to get him to keep saying it by asking him, "What did you say?". Pirate saw this as an opportunity to say it himself. But he would try to make himself look good. He would say, "Don't say Damn it, Trouble. Stop saying 'Damn it'. You can't say Damn it". Pirate was trying to appear to be the good big brother, correcting his little brother. But in fact, he was just using this as an excuse to say the words himself.
The funniest part of the whole thing is that Trouble learned context pretty quickly. He didn't just say damn it when he felt like it. He started saying it when he didn't get his way. Or when he couldn't get a toy our of the toybox. Or when it was time to come in from playing outside. Or when it was time for nap or bed. He loves Oreos, and would eat them all day long if we let him. One night he had his usual two for his bedtime snack. He said, "more tooties (cookies) Mommy". I said no and that he already had two. He looked right at me, threw his sippy cup on the floor and yelled, "Damn it, Mommy!". Princess and Pirate busted out laughing. I had to turn around so he couldn't see me laugh.
Another night, my family was at our house celebrating my dad's birthday. Kids always have much more fun when other people are around to play with them. The kids were having a blast playing with everyone. We still try to get Trouble to bed around his normal time, because he's kind of a monster. It's always a relief when he goes to bed. After my husband put him in bed and was closing the door, he said Trouble screamed out, "Damn it, Dada!". We heard him continue to yell 'Damn it' followed by the names of everyone that was at our house, through the monitor, for the next ten minutes. It definitely made us feel like stellar parents in front of the rest of the family. At least everyone else thought it was funny too.