I’m generally an evidence-based sort of guy. I don’t believe everything I hear, even if it’s what I want to hear, without checking other sources.
There are, of course, some exceptions. And like I want to believe is the case for most people who tend towards blind trust, when I see something like this I don’t follow up with more research specifically because I don’t want what I want to believe to be disproven even though I’m almost positive it would be. Let me have a couple happy moments, for God’s sake.
Example: back in 2020, maybe a month or two into the pandemic, I saw a headline that read “Research shows that drinking whiskey can protect against COVID-19.” Absurd? Maybe. Overblown or misrepresented? Almost definitely. But, as someone who was already ending each day with a shot of the brownest of the brown liquors, did I want to believe it? Of course!
A similar headline I ran across a little over a year into parenthood suggested that swearing in front of your children actually makes them smarter. Now, again, I KNOW. I see you scrunching your nose quizzically at it. And I don’t care.
Yes, between his mother and I (mostly his mother), Miles has heard every swear word under the sun. Not to say it sounds like a Tarantino movie in our house, but there are certainly circumstances in which we find ourselves dipping into the well of colorful metaphors (I challenge anyone to drive in Charlotte for more than five minutes without pulling out at least one well-deserved expletive). And yet, even in these years of rapid development and language acquisition, we’ve almost never had a problem with Miles repeating any of them. It’s always been as though he’s known those words aren’t really befitting the mutterings of a four-year-old.
BUT (you knew it was coming)
Lately Miles has started doing that really annoying thing all four-year-olds do. He’s asking questions.
“Daddy?” he said the other day while we were in the car. “Why you say ‘ask’?”
Another time, “Why you say ‘ship’?”
So, while it was a good run, it looks like it’s time for us to start avoiding foul language. Of all the challenges parenthood has posed, this is somehow the most daunting.