Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Because heckfire is not where all the cleaning up my language attempts went

It's not the worst thing you can do to your kid, but it does make me wonder if I really am fit to be a mother.

Out of sheer necessity, Betty and I found ourselves back at Babies R Us. While we were there, Maude called me on Skype, and while it's fantastic as a free/cheap service, you are at the mercy of the Internet.

Which isn't great in Amsterdam. Maybe because so many of those wires are underwater? Or however it works?

But anyway, our time difference is such that we don't talk very often, and we were way overdue for a catch up. So every time it cut off, she'd call back.

There I was, on my fifth call with her in 15 minutes.

Betty had wandered off to a different section, and I was meandering through the clothes.

I cannot even tell you what we were talking about, but I know for a fact that I used a good deal of profanity, and specifically the word "asshole" quite a number of times.

At some point Maude laughed and said, "It such a good thing you're not here. Benjamin has started repeating everything we say."

At which point I looked around, and realized that there were children of some age or another all over the place.

Which of course elicited a panicked, "Fuck, Maude! There are kids here! Lots of kids! Fuck! Oops. Crap!"

This will garner some not-great looks from mothers. Not exactly like the raisin-in-the-anus comment, but along those lines.



  1. HA!

    Well, I can't say that I would be a good mother either then.

  2. For what it's worth, my mom cursed a fair amount when I was little, and I rarely curse in public. I really think it took the thrill out of the words, for me.

    Only Dr. Taggart could make cursing less fun!

  3. it doesn't mean you'll be a bad mom... more like a Bad Ass mom!

    my sister's girls are 5 & 3 and every since the first one was born she's been saying she has to stop cursing because "soon enough" they'll start repeating it. yah well, she hasn't been able to stop yet (but curbs it well around them... by the time they were talking & repeating anyway) and yet my niece still walked up to her grandma holding something she found in the other room and said (in that sweet little 3yr old voice) "nana, what the hell is this?"

  4. Ah, it happens. I try my hardest to censor myself but realized the other day I wasn't doing a great job when Marion jumped off the couch and yelled, "Holy Crap!"

  5. I heard my mother say the word "shit" for the first time last week. I was telling her about this story: SOB... and apparently sort of implied that she might not get the SOB bit...

    Hearing the word come out of her mouth was somewhat shocking. I was amused, and she was not amused that I was amused.

  6. I'm fairly certain that if I have children, they will have the worst sailors' mouths. My dad swears a lot though, so I come by it honestly. One of my sister's first words was "shit."

  7. Babies R Us would make me swear, too...this is why I love the online registry.

  8. My parents each speak a few languages between them. They tried to avoid cursing in front of the kids by non-English cuss words. Fail. I grew up cussing in Russian, German, Polish, French, and of course, in time, English as well. I worry about not being able to filter myself when I have kids.

  9. My boyfriend and I are currently "not trying but not NOT trying" to get pregnant right now.

    While I can handle the "not drinking alcohol or coffee" rule and the "not changing the cat litter rule," I absolutely cannot fathom trying to clean up my language once the little one is in the picture.

    Good luck and godspeed (but you'll be a fantastic mother either way)

  10. Sarah - And I'm sure you will be, profanity or no.

    Dagny - You make a solid point. Maybe it doesn't have quite the allure for kids if it's not a forbidden thing? Good ole Dr. Taggart.

    notsojenny - I'd be delighted to be a Bad Ass mom!

    And "nana, what the hell is this?" made me laugh out loud. That is fantastic.

    mrsmac - The idea of "Holy Crap!" coming out of adorable little Marion's mouth is so incredibly funny. Did you laugh so hard?

    VVK - Impressive that you'd never heard it from her before! And that is hilarious! And even more so that she was so not amused by how funny it was. Ha!

    Also, Old SOB, new SOB. Excellent.

    Hillary - I'm pretty certain this will be the case with me. I will of course be chronicling it. Apparently "oh Jesus Christ" was one of my phrases as a kid.

    Fearless - You know, I was probably using "asshole" to refer to the nonexistent staff. Good point.

    Mb - That's incredibly impressive, it really is. And really funny that they had so many languages to access for profanity - and you still soaked it all in!

    Lily - It is the hardest thing, it really is. I have a cup of coffee a day, and the occasional glass of wine,( and I don't have cats, so the litter thing will never, ever figure in) but cannot imagine eliminating profanity.

    And I appreciate the vote of confidence! Good luck to you on the not NOT trying. :)

    diatribes and dish - Bad driving behavior totally merits it. Your colleagues and clients would probably do the same in that situation.

  11. Here's my rule. If the child mimics me in public, I have to explain it. If she's mimicking DH, he has to.

    Don't worry, it's sort of required that your kid embarrass you at least once by swearing!

    My neighbor just told me a story where her 5 y/o was in school and the teacher asked if she had forgotten any food groups. The boy told his teacher that she forgot Margaritas and beer. So, you don't even have to swear to have your child humiliate you!

  12. I guess I'm in the minority. I curse like a sailor, but it is absolutely verboten in our household around Zeke or any other children. I find it incredibly distasteful when I'm out in public and there are children around and adults are swearing loudly, and I also don't really find it terribly cute when young children swear, so I make a huge effort to curb my language around children and in public.

  13. I realize my previous comment may sound a bit lecture-y, which is not how I meant it. I just try really hard not to swear around my kid, that's all.

  14. Cheryl S - Oh, that's so funny. Um - you forgot the liquor category!

    Wendy - No, that's OK. You're entitled to your opinion even though I don't quite share it. I think for me, I've just never spent much time around kids, nor have I spent time even thinking about kids until recently. And so it's not like I'm trying to swear around them, it's more that they're just not on my radar in terms of behavior modification - until suddenly they are.

  15. On the contrary, I think you're going to be one of the best-est mothers I know. Because you're super-cool and stuff. :)

  16. I made a conscious effort to clean up my language when Lucy was a baby, so by the time she was mimicking I was in pretty safe territory. And then a guitar player asked to use my phone and, getting a busy signal, he said "aw shit."

    "Aw shit!" said Lucy.

    It did not disfigure her and so far does not seem to be ruining her political ambitions.

  17. Your profile pic is very Jackie O.


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