When "Pulling a Mama" Means Swearing... A Lot

4 years ago

Yeah, so, I swear.

I have a potty mouth. I use foul language. I’m inappropriate. I say naughty words. I curse.


Photo courtesy the author.

I swear a lot. I swear so often, I don’t really think about it. I don’t mean to be rude or crass, and I’m certainly not looking to offend people when I swear. I just do it. I think, subconsciously, I know when not to swear. I’m not saying “fuck that” and “that’s bullshit” in the office -- even when I want to. I don’t write marketing copy for work that says, “Buy our business cards, because our sale ends soon, assface.” So, clearly, I know when it’s not appropriate. But I still swear when I probably shouldn’t.

Now that my son is listening and starting to repeat things we say, I probably should be more careful. I mean, I’m not saying, “Here’s your sippy cup, asshole,” or anything like that. But I might drop something in the kitchen and drop the f-bomb while he is standing there. I’ll say things like, “Look at that fuckin’ jackass taking up two parking spots,” while my son is in the car with me.

When my niece Lorelei was a toddler, my sister very politely suggested that I clean up my dirty mouth around her kid. I wasn’t very good about it, and eventually she gave up. My Mom brought up my using foul language around Lorelei at Thanksgiving dinner one year.

Mom: “I don’t think Sonia even tries to watch her mouth around the baby.”

Me: “That’s fucked up bullshit, Mom.”

I think it’s silly that there are some words that we can’t say because they are “naughty.” The n-word? I get it. That’s not a word you can say. It’s got history, a hurtful, awful history. That makes sense to me. But the idea that “fuck” or “shit” are words you are not supposed to say -- that a long time ago someone deemed these words to be forbidden -- seems strange if you really think about it.

I could defend my theory that they are just words, and fuck it, I’ll say them whenever I want and so will my kid. But then people would look at me like I’m a fuckin’ asshole … even more so than usual. And worse, they will look at my son like he’s an awful kid, and that I just can’t have.

My husband doesn’t really swear. He didn’t really swear before we had a kid. He says like “gee whiz” and “jiminy christmas.” It’s adorable. The other morning he said “shit” in front of The Boy, and then he said, “Oops. I pulled a ‘mama.’”

Swearing in front of kids is now referred to as “pulling a mama.” I don’t know whether to think that’s horrible or awesome.

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