• Jessica

    Our daughter’s first (kind of) swear word was “fuckuschrist.” She was two-ish, we were both proud and mortified…I especially, as I knew I was the one who’d said Jesus Fucking Christ one too many times in front of her when I thought she couldn’t hear.

  • Diane in NC

    Too funny! You should post a couple of Leta anecdotes every Monday to take away the pain of it being Monday. Thanks for the laughs. :)

  • Anonymous

    Since when did “hell” become a curse word anyhow?

  • http://littleumbrella.typepad.com niz

    Wow, can’t wait to see the responses to this post on Hate Mail day. You are a brave woman.

    When I was about 2 my best friend couldn’t pronounce my name (Sophie), and somehow the nearest approximation he could manage was “Fucky.”

    I’m sure our mothers would have discouraged this had they been able to stop laughing long enough to address it.

  • Julia

    Is it really that cute or endearing to hear a little kid swear? It’s your house and your kid in the end, but it sounds like Leta (by way of her parents) got the short end of the deal when God handed out class…

  • Maddnessofme

    That is what I’m going to do if you don’t pick the name FARLEY for that dog!

    The hell! The hell!

  • http://waltzinexile.wordpress.com WaltzInExile

    Just last week, my 3 year old called her preschool teacher a dumbass. She wasn’t parroting; she was repeating, 4 days after she’d heard the word used to describe the man who almost t-boned our car because he didn’t heed his flashing red light. Am I proud of myself for saying that in front of her? No. But I’m WAY proud that she used it in context for herself – those are advanced language skills! (Plus, said teacher is, in fact, a dumbass, now that I think about it.)

  • http://www.mrsbroth.blogspot.com Mrs. B. Roth

    Good post. It’s tricky, here in Utah – with all the rules of acceptable language, to help kids know that some words in some contexts (like just mom and dad and at home) are fine, but in front of gramma, grandpa, Primary teacher, etc. we probably should not say, “Dammit!” and not “Bammit” either. And while “what the …” is okay, we mustn’t go on to “what the hell?!”

    Best of luck.

  • Jen


    that Leta is one hell of a kid. Love her.

  • http://rivetergirl.blogspot.com Robin

    Why wait to teach your kids the proper use of such words? Plus it’s so awesome when they use the words correctly (in the privacy of one’s own home, of course).


  • http://www.xanga.com/Bratfink Brat

    My daughter swore when she was a toddler. She’s now 29, a mother, has a great marriage and job and 2 kids of her own, and owns her own home.

    Yeah, swearing at a young age will turn them into murderers and less than first class citizens.

    Lighten up, you assholes!

    Dooce, this post made my Monday and the majority of comments made my Tuesday!

  • http://www.evanzstox.com/ stephanie

    Z Gallery.

    That was Leta?

    I want that pillow too.

  • Wendy Hill

    Oh My God to Hell…she said damn!

  • http://knaphrodesiac.blogspot.com Karen

    My fiance thinks it’s funny to yell “EAT MY PUSSY!” when I’m on important phone calls.

    I’m dreading that this is the one thing my toddler will pick up on when he starts repeating things we say.

  • AA

    Dooce, I normally am 100% in support of everything you say, but this I just can’t agree with. I don’t think it’s cute when kids use curse words, even in the right context. I think there are some things better left for adulthood – like swearing. My parents swore in front of me all the time (although I got my mouth washed out the one time I said “shit”), so it’s not like I grew up a prude, and I do swear, but I don’t think it’s cute.

  • http://www.theindependentmom.com The Independent Mom!

    Oh thank the Gods my kids aren’t the only ones who talk like adults!

  • WendyB

    Funny funny girl she is. At least she is using them in the correct context, because if the words were improperly used, now that would not be funny!

  • http://www.kirida.com kirida

    That was good. Damn good.

  • Anonymous

    You have to laugh.

    My daughter was walking through the house one day and bounced off the closed bedroom door. As she rubbed her forehead she blurted out a “mother f**ker”. She was 2 years old. I laughed, my husband got mad at me. I can’t help it, I thought it was hilarious.

  • http://www.mydogumentary.wordpress.com gingela5

    Interesting post…I don’t necessarily agree with that but you are allowed to do what you want with your own children. And I am on pins and needles about the dog name!

  • chipmunk roasting

    And unto the next generation …

    My five year old Granddaughter, losing in a game of _Sorry_ to her father (my son) and I, viewed the board, leaned back in her chair and declared “Oh, man, I’m screwed”.

    I just about died from inwardly exploding laughter.

    Almost as funny was the look on her parents’ faces.


    Go, Leta! Go, Dooce!

  • Teresa

    Can we set up a long-distance play-date relationship between Leta and my just-turned-6-year-old daughter? She has been diligently studying her two older brothers verbage recently and yesterday called my husband “you funking asprin idiot!” Not sure if the translation is fuckin’ asswipe idiot or what! Ya, so I’m a Southern Baptist Preacher’s Kid. What can I say? She’s MINE and I’m proud.

  • http://www.thebeckybug.com Beckybug

    She has it all: the comedy genius, perfect timing, and eloquence of her mother. You know, you two are awesome for each other.

    The comments you have going on here are outofcontrolhilariousness.

  • http://www.prettylush.typepad.com Pretty Lush

    That kid is infinite shades of adorable.

  • http://www.twodogsrunningsouth.blogspot.com/ Emily

    Awwww, you can totally tell you’re beaming with pride.

  • tracy

    those are some damn good stories! thanks for giving me a giggle today :)

  • seriously?

    I didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to make it through all the comments, so pardon me if I repeat others’ words…but ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??

    I swear like a sailor. But there is no way in hell I’d allow a 4 year old to swear, at home or anywhere else. Unbelievable.

    GREAT parenting right there.

  • Bad Parent

    You have a budding actress in the making.

    Leta really knows how to push your buttons and you’re learning how to teach her to keep her shit together in public over nonsense.

    My kid still pulls this crap over wanting “stuff”, but she is 22 yrs old. Curb it while you have the ability to teach her to how to not be a spilled brat.

    I missed that parenting lesson!

  • greg t


  • Anonymous

    She’s obviously very precocious…I’m looking forward to the teen years…maybe she’ll start to blog like her mom:)

  • http://www.barelyknittogether.wordpress.com Barely Knit Together

    When my daughter was young I was less careful (read: sailorifically mouthed) and the best translation I heard was when she said from the back seat on a New Jersey highway, “What did you say mommy? Pumpkin idiot?”
    I love you! I just can’t help myself – what a pumpkin wonderful way to start my day, reading about yours. Thanks!

  • Sarah

    Heather, she’s so awesome.

    My now-15-year-old cousin’s first phrase was “fuck it.” It was hysterical to 9-year-old me.

  • Elizabeth

    OK, so I know I’m too late for the dog name thing, but I had a dog that looked a lot like that dog. Her name was Solo, named for a wild dog in Africa being studied as part of someone (like Jane Goodall) who was sitting in the bushes watching a pack of wild dogs.

    But, as Leta would say, who the hell gives a damn.

  • Margie

    That is about as good as when my daughter (who is now 28) at the age of 3 called me a “dumb mother fucker” when I wouldn’t her wander the store alone (she had picked that up at the CHURCH preschool she attended) . . needless to say, I got down eyeball to eyeball with her too and put the fear of god into her . . sort of . . three days later she called her grandmother the same thing . . as far as I know she has never said it again, at least to our faces.

  • Anonymous

    I just spent a weekend with my boyfriends nieces and, not having any kids of my own, was totally shocked by their language. Sure the swearing was minimal, but the grammar–terrible! I think I’d rather hear an “Oh shit!” from the three-year-old rather than the indignant “No, it ain’t” that she was so fond of.

  • http://trixasaurus.livejournal.com Kris


  • Emily

    Remember folks, Dooce lives in Salt Lake City. To people in mormondom, those words are even more offensive than to people outside the corridor. Perhaps it was to be respectful of other people and not so much because Dooce was concerned about the words themselves.

    For examplie – Farting in the privacy of your own house, perfectly acceptable. Letting one loose in a crowded airplane, not so much. Not because farting is inherently evil, you just try to spare other people the discomfort of experiencing it.

  • nikki

    The hubby, the kid (4 at the time) and I had a cozy night in watching Shrek a few years ago. Next day, driving through a snowstorm to go sledding, a little voice pipes up from the back seat and says, “Daddy, this is the best damn snow ever.”

    Daddy damn near drove off the road.

  • Lanie


    For better or worse, I have to inject that I think cussing and a lot of this let-it-all-hang-out behavior is undeserving of rah-rahs.

    I get it that we all cuss sometimes, and I get it that there’s a difference between cussing in your own home vs. in public.

    But I get it because I’m a grown-up. My brain is fully formed and I’m already socialized and all. Unlike, you know, preschoolers.

    Having said that, this was a tale VERY well told. Which is why I keep reading this website while simultaneously cringing at some of it. Dooce is not-for-nothing a valedictorian with an English degree.

    Just PLEASE, let us all flush our toilets. (Sheesh.)

  • http://greatdayinmaine.blogspot.com leesavee

    LOVE to see a child using profanity in such an appropriate way.

    Many years ago, I nannied for a child in NYC. Her parents had taught her all about the correct anatomical names for body parts. She was three. We were walking through a crowded Fairway grocery store, and she kept pulling on her underwear. I asked what the problem was, repeatedly, and finally, in exasperation, she yelled, “Lisa, MY VAGINA ITCHES!!!”

    Everyone around us was quite amused. As, I’m sure, were the people in the store with the zebra pillow.

  • http://this-life-is-mine.blogspot.com/ Jess

    Oh the hilarity!! I love it! I have such a nasty mouth on me…I often wondered how I would handle it with my own children one day…I think I now know!

  • http://kathicello.blogspot.com Kathi

    Same thing happened when our son was 4. We were in a grocery store, except when my husband picked him up and carried him out to our car, he was surrounded by police cars within a couple minutes. Seems a helpful passerby called to report a kidnapping… Now the Meting Out of Justice is handled by Mommy when we’re in public. We have the same damn hell ass rule in our house – go to town with your vocabulary as long as we’re inside, and you don’t have friends over!

  • Jennsa

    As someone who grew up in a small mormon town (not being mormon myself), I have to say that I have witnessed far more kids than I care to remember saying shit like crap, and dang it and fudge or fudgesicle, or freak or freakin or son of a beehive or schnickerdoodle, or shishkabob and jeebus and…..fuck me. Seriosuly.

    And jesus christ I do not have it in me to respect someone who self censors themselves to that degree. If you are saying son of a beehive, for example instead of ‘son of a bitch’ I know exactly what you were goddamn thinking and it makes me want to scratch your eyes out. These are only words–we give them power in the way we respond to them. I don’t offend easily, you could call me a cunt if you want. Does not bother me in the slightest–the problem I have is WHY you might want to call me that to express your anger or frustration or…with me. Not the word you chose to use to express that anger. Grow some balls and speak like a normal grown adult. These are just words and like all good words they pack a considerable punch when used to express emotion.

    HOWEVER, there are obviously venues where it is NOT appropriate to use such language and while I might choose to drop f-bombs on a very regular basis while I’m chatting with my girlfriends or my husband, I would not use it in front of clients whom I work with, or while I’m having a meal in a family restaurant where there are other people’s children within earshot. Although I would and do use it in casual conversation with coworkers.

    Use your brains and know when it’s appropriate to use certain words and when it’s not. That’s all Heather was trying to teach Leta. I have a 12 year old step daughter and when she visits us I have no problem whatsoever with her saying things like hell or shit or bitch. I don’t think she’s ever gone so far as saying fuck with us though. She doesn’t get much or a response from us, which for someone her age who is working double time at testing boundaries that was likely the whole point in the first place. Over the summer she used the words less and less because she was learning that they are just words and because my husband and I didn’t throw a shit fit every time she used them she was no longer interested.

    Besides, fuck is an enormously versatile word. It’s one of my favourites.

  • P

    Damn smart kid that one.

  • http://eleanorstrousers.wordpress.com Eleanor’s Trousers

    Leta has just summed up everything I feel about work every single morning of my life. If my office were soundproof right now, I would be shouting “OH MY GOD THE HELLLLLLLLLL,” at full volume.

    I keep trying to explain to people that I want children so they can make me laugh. I don’t understand why this would be a bad reason to start a life at all.

  • Jennifer

    That right there, was a damn good anecdote.

    Thank you for, once again, shedding some light as to the embarrassments I have the esteemed pleasure of understanding, once we have children. Oh Squee!!

    My sister used to pitch temper tantrums in the middle of stores, I however, am the good child and was the one asleep in my stroller while Denise would make loud remarks about people such as:

    “Mommy, that lady is REALLY pregnant!” (Overweight)

    “Mommy, what’s wrong with that mans eyes?” (Chinese)

    “Mommy, that ladys REALLY tan!” (African American)

    Oh joy…

  • http://www.billygean.co.uk Billygean

    Me and my father (he raised me) have always sworn. He said it you do it sparingly it can be very effective in humour and in tantrums. So I do :)


  • http://zeldaray.blogspot.com Raychelle

    That’s adorable! I mean the way kids can exactly mimic their parents is hilarious. I wish there was a video because I’m sure the words were too cute coming out :)

  • http://tiggerlane.blogspot.com Tiggerlane

    That was priceless…I wish I was your kid!

    Now that mine has entered high school, I have to constantly remind her about the “inside” cursing … and pray that when she screws up in cheer practice, she won’t scream out a resounding, “FUCK!”

  • http://howdoyousay.blogspot.com/ Faithstwin

    Way to scare the crap out of Leta. She will remember that for a LOOONNNGGG time.

    You crack me up and as Leta gets older, she will be cracking us up more and more.