I’m really embarrassed to write what I'm about to, but if I can’t confess on this blog, where else can I?
I cuss like a sailor (to use a cliché, and because I’m too sleepy after lunch to think of something more original.) I have so many friends who, like “good Christian women”, stop using profanity when they have kids. When one slips out of my mouth during a conversation with them, they wince like I just made them drink curdled milk. I have tried and tried and tried some more to quit, but it’s just part of my vocabulary. I mean, what can express frustration, immense joy, and sometimes even flat-out boredom, better than a choice 4-letter word? Plus, hearing the stories of my maternal grandfather, it’s in my blood, man. I can’t fight it.
This fairly regular (I’m wincing now because I know that’s not completely accurate. Hush, Pat!) spillage of profanity has it’s consequences, though. I give you the top moments that immediately come to mind.
One note – I’d like my mother and aunt to stop reading here.
Seriously, stop reading.
Ok. Others may proceed…
Christmas Eve and the “Flock”
Savannah was 3 this Christmas Eve. We were waiting for the children’s Christmas program to begin. Yes, we were IN CHURCH, and Pat was in the back acting as USHER to the GOOD, WHOLESOME people who came in, and we were surrounded by GRANDPARENTS and other CHILDREN.
Savannah was innocently, and ever so preciously, coloring the front of the bulletin. She angled her leg just slightly and the crayons fell to the floor. Remember, it is QUIET before the service and we are SURROUNDED. Savannah said what she felt was appropriate – the mother of all words - the f-bomb.
Everyone 3 rows up and back looked at us with complete shock and I believe I even saw some disdain from a few faces. I did what any “good” mother would do. I patted Savannah lovingly and said, “You’re so smart, Sweetie. That IS a flock you’re coloring.”
I’m laughing hysterically right now out of sheer embarrassment. But I’ll continue on.
The “Frog” In the Store
Pat and I were pushing Savannah in a cart through Target. This was just a couple months after the previous…chronicle. Suddenly Savannah blurted out something that started with the letter f….again. I believe she said it just to hear her voice echo in the store. That means she said it loud enough to get an echo in a very large store.
Pat stopped the cart and looked at me.
“What did she just say?”
“Uh, frog. She said frog, honey.”
He gave me this doubtful look.
“Seriously, honey. How would she know that other word?”
I was trying to cover my obvious failings in motherhood.
Not long ago, about a month ago I believe, Sarah, our 2 year old (even younger than Savannah was!), was pushing one of her toys around in the living room. Pat was being a good father and playing with her. I have no idea what provoked this because I was lying on the couch and probably yelling profanities at the damn Wii game, but suddenly I heard a soft, sweet voice say, “Shit.”
I shot up and looked at Pat who was already burning a hole in my head because I had obviously tarnished another one.
“Did she just say…?”
“I hope not,” was all I could say as I sank back down into the cushions.
Savannah was 3 with her first cuss word, Sarah was 2. Maybe our son’s first words will be, ‘Oh hell, Mommy.”
Testing the Limits
A couple months ago Savannah was giving me the scoop on her day. I asked her something as I was putting clothes away and she said, “Oh shit.”
I stopped everything and just looked at her. When she found the courage she glanced at me out of the corner of her eye.
“Is that ok?” she asked sheepishly.
“Uh….no. No, Savannah, it’s not okay.”
She then replied with something every parent hates to hear, “But you say it.”
Oh (BLEEP!). Well, she had me there. So what did I do?
I made the Crappy-Parent-Deal because I realize it’s in her blood, too. “Just refrain for a few years and you can cuss when you’re in the upper grades of high school, but ONLY at home and ONLY with me and Dad. That’s it!”
Dear God, I’m a bad mom.
Please don’t judge me….too harshly.
It’s just words, right?
Out of the mouths of babes.