What could be wrong with letting my 7-year-old watch a classic family sitcom every night before bed? The trouble, as you might expect, stems from the star’s very name.
When you hear the nickname for Richard, you immediately (and unfortunately) think of a part of the male anatomy. And because I was always careful to call the show by its full name, I never thought of how my daughter might be representing her obsession in public.
Not until my husband tried to change up her bedtime routine, and I heard “But I can’t fall asleep without Dick!”
Full. Body. Cringe.
Is this child telling her teachers that she goes to sleep with Dick every night? That she loves him? Should I send a letter? Am I making too much of this?
This is not the first time I’ve had to ask myself this question.
My husband has a potty mouth (ok, so do I) and when our daughter was first born, we made a conscious effort to curb the F-bombs. And because we were binge-watching Battlestar Galactica over my maternity leave, we adopted the word “Frack” as our F-word substitute. We thought we were so clever — until our 10-month-old kid began talking up a storm.
We were returning from a trip to the grocery store and a group of neighbors were gathered in the adjoining driveway. As a bag spilled out of the car, strewing its contents across the pavement, the kid showed off her newfound skills with a perfectly timed “OH FRACK!!”
Except it didn’t sound like Frack. In full Christmas-Story glory, my sweet little carseat baby shouted a perfectly pronounced F-Bomb.
The gasps were audible.
And the stares and glares from the neighbors are forever etched in my brain.
I tried to laugh it off, but I fear I will forever be known as “that mom” of “the potty-mouth-baby” in the neighborhood. Let’s just hope she doesn’t talk about her obsession with Dick next time the neighbors are out.
This piece was written by a member of The Sway community who is remaining anonymous for obvious reasons. What has your kid said or done in public to make you look terrible? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org