Well, it finally happened. One of my kids used a curse word and I know full well where they got it from. First of all, it might surprise you to know that it wasn't Colin, it was Maddie. She didn’t learn it from her dad, she learned it from me. Yeah, I guess based on the name of this blog and my reputation of swearing like a sailor it isn't that big of surprise.
I keep hearing that PSA from the ‘80s where the dad walks into his son’s bedroom with a cigar box of dope and demands to know “who did you learn this from?” And the boy half cries and half yells, “I learned it from watching you!”
Those commercials must have made an indelible mark on me since that is the second “Say No To Drugs” commercial I have referenced in my blog. Granted, my kids are not smoking dope and if they did, they certainly wouldn’t learn it from me, but seems everything I do definitely leaves an impression on them.
So, I am sure you are all dying to find out what word she uttered. Well, it was relatively benign, but was inappropriate and stopped me in my tracks none-the-less. She was innocently sitting at the kitchen table finishing her apple while I was cleaning up after lunch and preparing to get ready to leave the house to run errands. Suddenly the apple slipped out of her hand and landed on the floor. “Awe, DAMMIT!” she yelled. My little “mini-me” could not have sounded more like me at that moment. I had to be careful of how I handled it since in all reality she had no idea what she was saying was wrong. I told her that I know she has probably heard me say that word, but that it is not an appropriate word for her to use. I also explained that I need to be more careful of "naughty" words that I use. If I were my own PSA, it would have had me talking to my 4 year old with a giant "hypocrite" sign on my forehead.
In my defense, I do my best to curb my potty mouth around my kids and wait to drop f-bombs until after they go to bed or when I am out with adults. I’ve caught myself unleashing my inner truck driver once I get around adults, especially after a few adult beverages. It is a little embarrassing when even I notice I am swearing too much and feel as if I need to take myself home and wash my own mouth out with soap.
However, “dammit” is one that I end up slipping up on around the kids, especially because I am a super-klutz and end up dropping things, making messes, tripping, ripping things, braking things etc.. The first word out of my mouth is dammit. Then there is my incurable road rage that usually results in an even worse, “God Dammit! Will you please drive your car!!!” Hey, at least I said “please!”
I’ve been lucky up until this point that not only have I been careful not to swear in front of the kids, but that they haven’t picked up on it until now. I have caught myself saying something under my breath when I am really upset and Maddie simply asks, “Mom, are you talking to yourself again?” or I am good at replacing swears with creative alternatives like “Gosh darn it,” “Oh, phooey,” or “Oh, for the love of Pete!” Tonight at dinner I spilled an entire cup of water all over the floor and due to my new attitude, caught myself and said, "Awe, CRUD!" Of course I do push the limits by saying, “Are you f-ing kidding me?” or “Jesus Christ on a cross!” but to me those are inappropriate either way and use them only in case of an emergency.
Unfortunately, I have also noticed that they have picked up another bad habit of mine, yelling. Maddie is the worst offender and I often find myself yelling at the top of my lungs, “MADDIE, STOP YELLING AT YOUR BROTHER!!!” I also have a short fuse and she has inherited my Irish temper. During these moments I know I sound like my grandmother who was infamous for her “screaming like a banshee.” I also find it difficult when she says, “Mom, aren’t you going to get what I asked for you to get me?” When I am constantly saying, “Madelyn, aren’t you going to do what I asked you to do?”
So, it is time for me to clean up my act and my language. It really is hard work being an adult and expect your kids to behave when you yourself don’t always behave. I guess the upshot is that there are plenty of good things that I have seen my kids do that I know are a direct reflection of Tom and myself. Maddie has a phenomenal memory like I do. I also have been told that she is polite at other people houses since Tom and I drill it into her head since the one time her memory fails is when she is supposed to say “please or thank you” at home. Colin is very witty as I like to think of myself and despite his “aggressive ways” he is a lover boy like his dad. They eat healthy and like to exercise and Colin even does yoga.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, they listen and see EVERYTHING you do, and as my grandfather always said, "you’d better mind your P’s and Q’s.