WARNING: Adult language ahead. So you know, if that shit offends you, um, don’t read the following. Or … just say fuck it, read it and get mad anyway – it’s a free country. So, whatever … you’ve been warned, though.

Babies are like this blank canvas of impressionable behavior. It’s almost like their sole purpose for existence is to soak up every bit of emotion, information and expression and throw that shit right back at you like a boomerang. Sometimes it’s pretty awesome. Sometimes it’s not so cool.

Case in point: Giuliana and I were chillin’ on the couch and watching some manly football-related programming. Why? Because she’s impressionable and if I start her off liking sports now, she’ll like it later, that’s why. Anywho, so Daddy lets out a ground-shaking belch that seems like it should echo through eternity. The young padawan learner looks at me in shock and then realizes it’s that place and time in her training to mimic her father. She smiles with sly side-grin like watch this and then unleashes a fury from her belly that shadows my very belch. Then she laughed. True story. Daddy-Daughter bonding at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

See? Babies are impressionable, for good and for the bad and really for just about everything in between. Oh, the “Parenting Police” are gonna come at me for this one: Babies are kinda like puppies in that way; they are all ready to be molded and modeled into whatever image we’d essentially like. Yep. I said it. Babies are like puppies.  Fight me.

But here’s the problem: tossing the burping aside, the impressionable behavior includes every-fucking-thing … including your “should-have-been-a-sailor-do-you-kiss-your-mother-with-that-mouth” tendency to curse like it’s your fucking job.

Pottymouth
Friends, I have a serious confession to make here: I tend to have a really filthy potty mouth. Spending several years performing on live television as a sports anchor and then doing client-facing work in public relations actually helps develop a filter to avoid any ill-timed f-bombs, so that’s good. But when I’m in the comfort of my own home, all bets are totally off.

For a while there, Angela and I thought our daughter was on the fast track to having her first word be something that rhymes with YUCK.

That’s right. There’s nothing better than a well-placed and perfectly timed, FUCK, to bring emotion to a sentence. And don’t tell me that adding in a curse word here or there doesn’t lend to the ultimate comedic value of a great dirty joke. Just ask a comedian like Amy Schumer or Louis C.K.

Right about now is where the wicked smart peeps come in and tell me that I should expand my vocabulary to include more civilized and socially-acceptable words to show true intelligence over rampant ignorance of thought in terms of my personalized diction.

Fuuuuuuuck that … and fuuuuuuck you.

However, like Whitney Houston so accurately proclaims with pride, the children are in fact the future. So, when in front of the young ones: dude, put a filter on that shit. Let’s avoid having a generation of kids ready to shout out “Shit” when Sesame Street unveils that it was brought to us by the letter, “S.”

Not gonna lie, I learned this lesson the hard way. That one time I was on the phone with DaddyMindTricks co-founder Mark, talking about the wealth of super ridiculous knowledge bombs that we’d be dropping on you for this site. And in the midst of the knowledge bombs a big F-bomb came flying out of the orifice between my cheeks. It wasn’t an aggressive “fuck.” Or really even a well-timed and comedic “fuck.” It was essentially just gratuitous in nature. And it was also a “fuck” blared over speaker phone. For Mark’s son Edger to hear. And then repeat. Oof.

We’ve got a teachable moment here, people: Friends don’t let friends say fuck over speaker phones. Curse responsibly, ladies and gentlemen.

I guess that’s why things like shit end up being replaced with the cute little euphemisms like poop. By the way, I maintain that there is no other way to describe defecation but to call it shit when the baby is finally graduated the solid foods. Holy shit is that some nasty and smelly and messy real adult style human SHIT. But I digress.

But I’m a seasoned veteran of cursing on the sly now that I’m watching my daughter start to do cool things. I understand how impressionable the younglings are when it comes to mimicking the exact expressions, words, movements and general awesomeness of the parental units.

There was a bit of an internal family friendly competition going down within the Cataldo Clan over whether this little ball of wonderment would first acknowledge the true greatness of her daddy-daughter bond by working “daddy” into her lexicon first. Or if she would break from tradition to move from bubble blowing and cooing to exclaim “mama” for her first round of spoken words.

Of course she could also fuck us both over and toss a curveball into the situation with adding one big word of inappropriateness to the mix, too.

the-fuck-I-want
And then … the moment finally arrived.

Right at the six month mark, a seemingly subtle and simple transition was made from cooing to a solid representation of the word that only a father would love: “dada.” Boom. Rejoice. I win. Suck it, haters.

And now everything that represents the life of this small person is in fact called, “dada.”

  • Chillin on a Saturday morning and watching some Sesame Street? Cool. Let’s just talk back at the TV with the only word she knows. Dada.
  • Getting a new onesie on for our trip outside to the park. The baby approves of the wardrobe choice with the best word in the English language. Dada.
  • It’s like she’s totally giving that head nod over to her pops as props.
  • But then … When the baby shits herself, ugh … POOPS herself, it’s dada. Thanks, kid. Maybe let’s walk that back just a little bit here.

Although, I guess that’s better than blurting out exactly what’s on Dada’s mind at the time of a loaded diaper situation. Because that wouldn’t be so cute. And then the Parenting Police would definitely have something to beef about.

In all honesty, we don’t curse in front of the kid. Much. I mean, everyone once in awhile a conversation over the phone will include a word that deserves a 7-second daily on live television.

It is amazing to watch the development of this little human as she moves from the alien that was at one point logged in my wife’s tummy; to a little being that utilizes crying as her only means of communication in between the spit up and poop and feeding; to finally turning into this little person with a real personality.

It’s almost as if she’s an actual person or some shit. Just waiting until the day that she will shock her dad by dropping a well-timed f-bomb in the middle of a conversation.

For comedic value, of course.