Now that I'm a responsible grown-up, uh-um, and mother, it has become my duty to become the strict regulator of language in the house. For those of you who know me, I'm sure you've just peed yourselves laughing.
Anyway, it's hard enough controlling my language sometimes, but more difficult than that is knowing whether or not my 6-year old is cursing like a truck driver in French. Of course I know all the usual, traditional French swear words, and a little bit of slang, but apparently I'm not 'au fait' with the 'gros mots des tout-petits'.
Both my girls started saying 'caca boudin' around their first year in school, which I guess roughly translates into 'poo sausage' which is fairly childish and innocuous, but not something I'd particularly want them to say when they are visiting the old folks at the maison de retraite. It just gets me wondering what else my little darling ladies are saying that I should know isn't trop polite.
I found this little diddy by Titou Le Lapinou on you tube, aptly named 'Les Gros Mots des Tout-Petits'. In the chorus there is a litany of playground vulgarities:
Pipi d'chat, pipi d'chien,
Proute de dinosaure,
Je pète dans tes chaussettes,
Je rote dans ta culotte,
Zizi, zouzou, p'tite crotte
I have a feeling most of these word combinations won't be in my Oxford French-English dictionary, but I'm sure I'll get the general gist of the insult. There does however seem to be a certain fixation on poo. I'm sure that's the same in any language.
I'm not proud of my youngest little lady when she says something that vaguely resembles 'fook sack', but she could be picking up all sorts of profanity at school and using it when she goes to her friend's house without me being any the wiser.
I know 3-6 is the sort of normal age for young kids to start picking up on these things, and I'm sure all the other kids at school are doing the same. And part of me thinks how proud(?) I will be when they are older and can express themselves with vulgarities in two languages. I just hope that our general little chats about 'gros mots' sinks in and they think to apply it to both languages.
Gotta love this bilingual parenting thing!