How fun is swearing? I love it. I really do. I know I shouldn’t, but it’s just so satisfying.
I’ve always tried to be sensitive to people who don’t have my sailor’s mouth by not cursing a lot in public, around small children and in the workplace if I know it’ll offend someone. But at home, I let the four-letter words fly. Well, I used to.
I gave up a lot of things when I was pregnant — deli meat, soft cheeses, sushi, booze and coffee and Diet Cokes (oh, sweet, sweet caffeine, I missed you most of all). Then when I had a baby, I gave up sleeping, ever having a flattish stomach again and all control over my own breasts.
But cursing? No, I still had cursing.
But then that baby got bigger and started parroting what we said. At first, it was kind of cute when our wee one would say “Shit.” It sounded more like “sit,” and only we really knew what she was saying. And I really tried to keep my cursing to basic cable standards rather than HBO language.
Lately, though, I’ve been starting to think that it’s becoming a problem. There was the time when E. accidentally knocked over a big tower of Legos and her first reaction was to say, “Oh shit.”
OK, not good but not the end of the world.
Then, a few weeks ago, we took her mini-golfing for the first time.
Mommy wasn’t having a good day. It was hot (notice a theme here? Hot, humid weather makes me cranky. Maybe someday my husband will realize that) and I can’t remember why for certain, but I know I was in a pretty foul mood. Just one of those days.
When I stepped up for my first putt, I swung and badly overshot the hole. Of course, the first word I uttered was, “Dammit.”
Fast forward two holes, and my daughter take a swing like Mommy and what did she say? Of course she said “Dammit,” too, much to the amusement of the foursome behind us. They (and us, for that matter) burst out laughing. Well, she was hooked. For the rest of the game, she would survey her shot …
… miss it, then say “Dammit” loudly, before quickly looking to see who was laughing.
So that day, the Swear Jar was born. My husband claims every time E. says a word I taught her, I have to pay, too. WTF? (do abbreviations count?)
I think I owe $400 right now. OK, not quite, but if I was following Madonna’s swear jar rules, I would (doesn’t she put something ridiculous like $50 a word in her jar).
I’ve been trying to be really careful lately and use new fun mock-curse words. One of my new favorites is “Grilled Cheesus,” in honor of last week’s Glee.
I had a major swear fail this morning, though. As you know, I’m sleep deprived because of E’s cold. I was in the kitchen, attempting to make coffee and she was in the living room, about to watch Bambi’s mom “get lost” (I’m certainly not ready to explain death to my 2-year-old yet), when I accidentally dumped the coffee grinds into the coffeemaker, without a filter.
A certain fabulous four-letter F word may have been shouted … loudly. To which E yelled from the living room, “What’s yucky Mommy?”
Yeah, YUCK. That’s totally what I yelled. At least that’s what I’m telling the swear jar.
How do you curb your cursing? What’s the most embarrassing thing your child has repeated in public?
Caroline Calcote says
I curse constantly. My kids are 6 & 9, and I do a pretty good job of not cursing around them, but I do slip up. It was a really hard adjustment to me when Cal, my oldest, was beginning to talk. And he was an early talker…simple sentences at like 15 months. Crazy. He recently said to me, “You know, Mom, when I was in kindergarten I didn’t know any cuss words. Now I know like 10!” I am teaching him to curse intelligently (when, how, etc.) I mean, the reality is that grown-ups curse. Kids should learn the proper etiquette of cursing. Once I was driving and something happened and I said under my breath, “Fuck, fuck, fuck.” Both kids in the back seat, of course. Mack, then like 4, says, “Mom, why did you just say, shuck, shuck, shuck?” Whew. Dodged a bullet there.