...[Squeaky voice] No, you can't do that. You're not allowed to. Becuase it's naw-dy [American accent coming out there] and dangewous.
- [Other squeaky voice] But mother, I want to do it. I'll be vewy careful.
- [Normal voice, a bit sing-song] And then she went upstairs and climbed on the shelves and she fell off and hit her head. And she said [Squeaky II] Ow, my head.
- [Narrator] And her mother came upstairs to see what was going on and said [Squeaky I] Oh, sweetheart, are you all right?...
And on and on and on, only much funnier than that. If I listen carefully I hear her go over things we've been talking about, or things she wants to do, or things that are on her mind - going to sleep on your own, the ever-present little sister role, working out the concept of death, even. It's also a little unnerving to hear your own words coming out of someone else's mouth, and makes me very happy that I've managed to excise swearwords from my vocabulary, because I know she'd be using them right now if she'd heard them.
Speaking of which. Dash has taken to saying "Aw, nuts," when something frustrates him. After listening to this for a while I decided it was probably not the most gentlemanly of expressions, and I asked him to say something else instead. More importantly, I thought he should know what it was he was saying, so I told him what it was a slang expression for, so that he didn't think he was just talking innocently about squirrel dinner. He said he'd say "Oh, brother" instead, which I can't find any objection to. So now Mabel is saying "Aw, nuts," and I'm a little afraid to stop her for fear she'll decide to say it all the more.
As I may have mentioned before, I grew up convinced that rude words had been invented in the 1980s and my parents had never heard any of them. My father's worst expletives were Damn and Blast, and I got into a fair amount of trouble with my mother the day I tried to say either of those. When I was about 13, the word of choice at school seemed to be "crappy," and one day I used it at the dinner table. To immediate and shocking effect. I had no idea it meant anything other than, well, you know, crappy. Bad. Not nice.
Which is why I would rather Dash knew what he was saying. Then it can be his own decision, though of course I can let him know that some words are not for use around his elders and betters, or his youngers and more impressionables either.
Mabel has also taken to exclaiming "Good Lawd!" if she needs to express dismay. I suppose I need to start saying Good Gravy instead. Maybe with a side of Heavens to Betsy or Holy Mackeral. It would, after all, be amusing to hear her come out with those while sorting out the members of the dollhouse at school some day.
And then it occurred to me that perhaps fudge and fiddlesticks and sugar are things people say not because they're granny-types who never said anything stronger in their lives, but from many years of not-in-front-of-the-children last-second adjustments.