I need to invest in a swear jar. You know, the kind where you put money in any time someone curses. Perhaps I should wash my own mouth out with soap, because these kids are not only cursing but using the curse words in the right context.
Jake, nearly three years old, is my worst by far. He knows which words are bad, what he is supposed to say, and the words he should not be using. It really started to go down hill with him around Christmas. One day around lunchtime he was climbing on the table, leaving globs of jelly all over my centerpiece, table runner, and even on the light fixture above the table. Fed up, I yelled, “Uh oh, Jake! I just saw one of Santa’s Elves running through the backyard. I bet he saw you being bad, and I’m sure he’s going to tell Santa.” Jake, disgusted, said “If that elf tells Santa I’m bad then he’s a real a$$hole.” Merry Christmas.
Joey, now nearly five, has never really said words he knows are bad, but he comes close. And although my boys are a little over two years apart, Jake, just as twins sometimes do, will finish Joey’s sentences. While my mother was visiting one day, the boys were playing together in the next room. Joey sees a toy on a television commercial and exclaims, “What the…,” but trails off. Jake promptly says, “Hell. What the HELL, Joey.” I, not wanting to give to much attention to the cursing for fear that that is the reason for it in the first place, just replied, “Don’t say hell.” A moment of silence is then broken by Jake, who really hasn’t mastered whispering yet, says “Daddy says hell all the time.” At least he threw the right parent under the bus in front of company.
Then there’s Cecilia. My sweet, sweet baby girl, who is not yet a year old. She’s my prodigy sitting, crawling and walking months before he brothers. She gibber-gabbers all the time too, pointing her fingers and conversing in her own little language. Bits and piece of English pop up now and then as she tries to imitate what we say to her. At the beach last weekend, where the house is a “ranch-style” and there are no gates, she was running free. Getting closer to bedtime she began getting silly, giggling and falling down a bit more. She was walking around, laughing when she began to fall (seemingly into the coffee table) just out of my reach. “Shit!!” I proclaimed as I reached out to grab her. Thankfully, she missed hitting the table. Unfortunately, this was one of those times she was able to imitate me. “Shit! Shit! Shit!” the baby said as she continued running around. My Mom just looked at me, and all I could say was “Oops.” My husband and father, who had been out, returned about an hour later, and both asked, “Why is the baby saying, shit?”
Those of you who are parents know the shame and utter humiliation that takes place when your child says or does something inappropriate in public. So while checking out at a local pharmacy, Cecilia points at a display on the counter and cheerily yells, “Shit! Shit! Shit!” I, of course, completely ignore both my child and the looks of confusion and disgust the elderly woman behind the counter is giving me as she tries to formulate an instant judgment of me as a mother. As I contemplate whether or not the woman might perhaps come to the conclusion that the baby must clearly be saying something else and not the word “shit,” my son Jake chimes in. “Cecilia if you keep saying shit, Mommy is gonna spank you on your ass.” Uhhhh…”Thank you and have a wonderful day,” I managed to muster as I practically ran out of the store, cursing children in toe.
I’m considering shock therapy (although I worry about what it might do to my hair) to break me of my bad habit, so no further damage can be done to my children. Hopefully, I can break them of their bad habits too before fall when Jake enters preschool, cusses at a nun, drops the “f” bomb in the grocery store, or something worse!