A few months ago I saw this phrase printed on a t-shirt in a picture someone shared on facebook: “My Baby is The Shit”. To be completely honest, it made me “LOL”, but a few moments later I started to really think about that phrase. As silly as it sounds, this phrase has deeper meaning than just making people laugh or trying in a silly way to convey my general feelings towards my little one.
Needless to say, it seems quite inappropriate, especially if I as a Father am to enforce the “no cursing” rule. In the same aspect, there are people out there who don’t appreciate this kind of language, especially in regards to children. But let me assure you, I have a perfectly logical explanation for utilizing it.
Dad’s my age are of a generation where the meanings of words have certainly shifted into more favorable contexts. Cursing in your every day language is, to a certain extent, more common. The appropriate situations to use curse words are far more in number than situations where it is NOT appropriate (although this small number of inappropriate circumstances carry a great deal of punishment). So lets analyze the wordage in this instance.
urbandictionary.com lists the term “the shit” as this:
“The best. This word is very interesting. The important part of it is without THE, an entirely different meaning applies. My teacher is shit= bad teacher. My teacher is THE shit = greatest teacher”
As a phrase, it seems it has transformed its way onto the “phrases that mean something is good” via my parents’ generation as they went through High School in the 1960’s. The closest thing I can relate to it as far as us “1990’s kids” go is how the negative word “sick” transformed into the positive word “sick” and then became the equally positive “ill”.
So here we are, with new meaning given to an old phrase. Implying that my baby is “the shit” is to say my baby is “awesome” and “wonderful” and “great” etc, and I want to own it. You all should own it as well, all you Generation X parents who don’t want your kids to spend their youths wearing khaki’s and polo shirts. And you as well, all you post-Gen X kids who would teach their children about Green Day as much as they would Beethoven. Embrace the language of a new generation of parents, and proudly say “my baby is the shit”
I say it. Because, damn it, my baby is the most awesome kid I’ve ever met. She can’t speak English (yet) or change my oil (yet), but the things she does do are friggin amazing, and I appreciate every second of it. Every time she babbles endlessly, I only want her to keep going. When she starts to stand on her own, I nearly leap in the air with excitement. Every time she says “Dada” and “Mama” I’m just awash with amazement and love.
The way she is curious about things, and how I can sit back a second and watch her figure out how things work is beyond wonderful. To see a human grow is possibly the greatest privilege i’ll ever ascertain. No matter how frustrating it may get sometimes, I’m part of the single coolest developmental processes on the face of the earth, it’s amazing, and I’m proud of my little girl for every step she takes.