The worst word I ever unintentionally taught my children has more than four letters and they are free to say in any kind of company.
The worst word I ever unintentionally taught my children often makes adults smile or laugh in that “aren’t they precocious” sort of of way.
However the worst word I ever unintentionally taught my children is also the word that takes cheerful noncompliance up to a level that has me running for the dark chocolate and Diet Coke.
A word that is sometimes amusing but more often frustrating.
A word that I wish I could have struck from my vocabulary before my children ever heard it.
Why is there Kleenex all over the floor?
Actually Mom, that’s my puppies bed.
Don’t forget to bring your plates to the sink when you are done eating.
Actually Mom, I have to go play now.
I think you should brush your hair this week.
Actually Mom, I like it like this.
Actually Mom, it’s green.
Actually Mom, I don’t like toast anymore.
Actually Mom, we need to go to the library.
Actually Mom, I was thinking we could have Culvers for dinner.
Actually Mom, Jane is messing up my stuff.
Actually Mom, this doesn’t taste good.
Now this week our youngest, who has been talking for awhile, looked at John, her face full of sincerity and said:
And I laughed so hard I cried. Or perhaps I cried so hard I laughed. Either way Clara was concerned for my well being. But I couldn’t explain the laughter or the tears to her.
I just couldn’t tell her that it was actually my fault that everyone says “actually.” That their overuse of the word “actually” was about to actually drive me insane and that I wasn’t actually sure what would happen to them if their mother was actually certifiably crazy. Worst of all I couldn’t admit to her that it is actually cute and funny half of the time to say it. I couldn’t do it, because I know what she would have said…
Actually Mom, Jane was just telling Dad that her pajamas aren’t stinky.
So I just laughed (or cried) and waved them all away and took small solace in the fact that “Dad, actually…” was at least slightly different form.
Until this morning when Jane said: