Sometimes I think I've got it together. Perhaps I’ve just survived five days with 4 kids while my husband is halfway across the world on business. Maybe I’ve taken a shower two, or better yet three, days in a row. It could be that I’ve cleaned more than one room in my house in a month. Or I’ve been able to get the baby to sleep in his crib for more than twenty minutes at night. Possibly I’ve dedicated a good thirty minutes to playing with my little girl. Or I have managed not to make it through a school morning without losing my temper with my oldest two children, whom both seem hell bent on destroying me emotionally. So on occasion, yes, I feel like I’m a pretty damn good parent. On occasion I think; Sweet Jesus I’ve got this whole motherhood thing figured out. Parenting is No. Big. Deal.
And then sometimes, while sitting at dinner, my 8 year old son will say something like “mom when I think of you, I think of three things: friendly, funny and swearing.” And that is when I can physically feel myself shrinking to a child-sized being; I feel myself being put in place by my kid. In front of my mother no less, who is quite obviously smirking, and quietly vowing to tell my father all about THIS. To be fair to myself, my son’s outburst of honesty came amidst husband’s said international business trip, and a seemingly endless snowy and bone chilling winter. I have had extra swears to say these past few days, cause there have been extra reasons to say them.
Regardless, it was in that moment that I finally felt as though I need to make a concerted effort to tone down my profanity. Clean my language up, and keep it classy for the sake of my kids. This of course will be a tremendous challenge for me because swearing is what I do. In fact, I used to do it just to drive my father crazy. He would tell me I was too creative to swear, whatever the farting dog that means, and I would tell him swears were just words and storm off swearing under my breath.
Until now I’ve not worried about my kids picking up on my bad habit, and unlike my father I’m not sure it would irritate me. Thankfully my oldest daughter would never dream of swearing, out loud or under her breath. My son is a little more brazen, but for the most part keeps his swearing to “crap” and “fricking” and for times when he’s really, really mad. Like when his little sister tries to talk to him while he plays Minecraft. And my three year old; she is far more likely to test the waters. And holy shit…she’s actually four. Anyhow, my FOUR year old could hold her own in a bar, at a football game, or with the commercial fishermen at the pier if she needed to. But she’s just a little sprite…you know, around three or four, and it is still endearing when she drops a swear or two. And the baby, who knows? I suppose his first word could very well be shit. Or damn. Or stop driving like an asshole!
Yes, I will surrender and admit that swearing is not one of my more endearing qualities. I will make a deal with my son, and promise him that I will try to stop ruining his childhood with my vulgarity. But being the parenting guru that I am; a mom who has her shit together, I will also remind my kid that of late, it is he and his siblings who 99.9% of the time have driven me to cuss and curse and say bad words. Really, it’s his own effing fault.