I remember my first curse word. We were riding in the car with my parents when suddenly; my father called my brother a little bastard. It happened at a time that I was going through my repeat everything someone else says until they snap phase. "Yeah, ya little bastard!" I cheered, while pointing my finger in the direction of the culprit. My father didn't stop the car. Conscious driving back then wasn't a thing, nor were regulated car seats or wearing your seatbelt. He just leaned back with his mean hand and gave me a quick slap on the leg, "What did you just say?" *Cries* "I was just repeating what YOU said!"
Sometimes I can't help myself and I'll get caught carelessly tossing out curse words like a drunken sailor in a Tijuana prison. It's not that I don't care or that I'm too cool to say shhhhut the front doorinstead of shit when I'm trying to make a point; it's just that old habits die hard, and I sort of enjoy a good swear word. I do my best to avoid the f word whenever the kid is nearby, but there really is no substitute when you're having a bad day.
Over the holiday, we watched "A Christmas Story." It was the first time that the pip had ever seen it and it wasn't until the infamous tire change scene that I questioned my ability to parent at all. I glanced over, hoping to find her looking anywhere but at the television, and proceeded to avoid the next few minutes of her persistent line of questioning.
Her: "What did he say?"
Me: "A naughty word."
Her: "What word?"
Me: "I can't tell you."
Her: "Please?! I promise not to say it!"
Me: "I still can't tell you."
Me: "Because it's really naughty."
Her: "I think I know what it is."
Me: "Well then, don't say it! And if you already know, why are you asking?"
Her: "Because I'm not sure."
Me: "Why does it matter?"
Her: "I just want to know!"
Me: "Well, I'm not going to tell you, so drop it."
Her: "Daddy says it all the time."
Me: "He knows better. Cover your ears if he does it again."
Her: "Can't you just tell me, pleeeeease?!"
Me: "No. Stop it... Before you make me say it by accident!"
Me: "Nothing. Be quiet. Let's watch the movie!"
I think more than anything, kids just like to do what they're told not to; it's adventurous, daring and, in some cases, life threatening–but only if you get caught. My daughter knows better than to say some of the words that fly out of my mouth from time-to-time. And despite my feeble efforts at keeping it clean 24/7; I have constantly been confronted with the one reality that I simply cannot change...
I'm not just a mother, I'm also human, and sometimes humans fuck up!
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