I knew it was my fault as soon as my wife told me what our little girl had said during the day. I admit it, I am to blame for my almost four-year-old Mia letting rip with the old "F***ing hell" and the slightly less cringe inducing "bloody hell".
Since that shameful day I've also heard her muttering both phrases when something doesn't go her way, or something is frustrating her. Which is exactly what I do when some idiot pulls out in front of me in the car, or I trip over, or I'm running late and rushing to get out the door.
Thankfully it's not a tirade of swear words pouring forth willy-nilly from Mia's mouth. Yet, at least.
When I asked her where she heard those words she blamed a friend of hers. But I know it's my influence because she is - mostly - a sweet and lovely little girl.
While I'm not proud to admit it - although not exactly ashamed either - I am a swearer. I'm a champion at it at times. But I know when to put a sock in my potty mouth. I'm not rude and know there is a time and place for cussing. And it's not like I swear in front of the kids, it's just those small, under-the-breathe utterances that slip out sometimes - and then old big ears picks up on it.
Swearing is not something I learned off my parents. I was scared pooless to let a swear word drop at home, especially in front of my mum. It wasn't tolerated.
Yeah, we swore at school, but come university time and moving out of home it became part of the lingo. And you have to admit, it creates great punch in a passionate sentence. Which is probably why kids Mia's age are magnets for swear words. And most kids do it.
It's hard not to laugh. But you can't. You have to deal with it, or face the embarrassment of them doing it in public. Or worse, when the grandparents are around.
Initially we ignored it, because that's what they say to do isn't it? But the swearing came back.
So we've found pulling her up about it and talking briefly but seriously about not saying those sorts of words and it seems to be getting through.
Now though the really hard part begins. I have to stop myself from swearing because I can't very well give myself a good firm talking to - and I certainly don't want to have to wash my mouth out with soap.