Partum Me?! Word explosion

By Laura |

The time has come, my friends.  The time that many new parents dread with the passion of a thousand suns.  The time in which it becomes painfully clear that our fun freewheeling lives are over for good.

What time is it, you ask?

It is the time when my child has started repeating what other people say and I have to stop cursing.  That’s right.  No more  dropping the f-bomb all casual-like in a sentence.  Four times.  And no more calling other drivers the full version of “f-nut,” “s-for-brains,” or my personal favorite “d-nozzle.”  I have to start saying things like “darnit” and “shoot.”  And when some idiot cuts me off, I’m going to just have to grip the steering wheel, put on a smile, and say, “Oh Charlie, that driver was being such a silly goose!”

Silly goose.  SILLY GOOSE?!?!  I don’t know if I can do this.

Cursing is almost a part of who I am.  My personality is just like that.  I talk a lot, I gesture with my hands, I sometimes speak loudly, and I curse.  And before I get the lectures about how cursing makes me seem less gentile, less intelligent, less gracious, or less whatever other pigeon-hole you’d like to shove me in, please save them for someone who believes that stuff.  I’m as lady-like as I want to be, by all accounts I’m a damn smart individual, and I was raised well enough to know that there are many social situations in which I have to tone it down.  I make my living convincing very wealthy people to give large sums of money to a very prominent institution – I know when to behave myself.  But in every day conversation with people I trust (or strangers who tick me off), I sometimes say bad words.  And now I can’t anymore and that makes me sad.

I could probably curse when my son is not around, but then I’m afraid that I’ll forget and do it when he is present.  I feel as if cold turkey is the only option.  I know some parents who say “eff it” and just curse away in front of their kids.  I’m not judging their parenting skills at all.  There’s something to be said for the honesty that comes with that technique.  The idea is that cursing is a part of regular vernacular.  People say those words all the time, so why not just teach your kid the appropriate times to say and not say them?  It’s sort of like the concept of teaching your child the words penis and vagina instead of pee pee and tinkle.  Why skirt the issue?

While I do plan on teaching Charlie the real words for private parts, there’s just something that skeeves me whenever I see a little kid say a bad word without shame.  The truth is, small children are not developmentally capable of knowing the appropriate instances to say certain things.  This is how mothers-in-law hear things like, “Mommy says you can be a real pain in the ass.”  There are a lot of things to which I refuse to expose little Charlie until I know that he’s emotionally able to handle them – death, movie/tv violence, Barney & Friends.  (Okay that last one falls into the category of NEVER.)  And while I don’t think cursing is a big deal, I guess I think that cursing as a child is.

Now, can we get back to me?  I have to figure out a way to stop the cursing before he starts asking his daycare teachers for his mothereffing binky.

Did you make an effort to stop cursing when your child started speaking?  How did you do it?  (And please, I know about the swear jar, so be creative!)



Laura is mommy to Charlie, who was born in April 2011. If you are in Philadelphia and spot a woman on the bus who is balancing an active toddler and the largest canvas tote that L.L. Bean makes, you've probably spotted her. Always up for a challenge, Laura enjoys her day job as a fundraiser, cooking healthy meals at home for her family, and her new workout hobby - running.

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  1. 1.

    LOL I’m still working on it 5 and 10 years later…shame on me. Although, I have reduced the amount of cursing, I still slip…a lot. I have no creative ways other than cover up.

    Our favorite here is “oh s*it” We live in a county named Chautauqua so I’m always covering up by doing the “oh shitauqua county is a beautiful place. Not all the time but helps 🙂 Good luck!!!

  2. 2.

    Haha. I found it easy to cut out the really bad curse words, and instead went for cursing light. Well, now my three year old, who has never seen the inside of a church, walks around talking about Christ all the time. Oops.

  3. 3.

    I stopped cold turkey. I only do it, under my breath in the lab.

    As for barney, I think the only way I’d expose them to it would be in the form of a piñata like the one we got 5-7 years ago or so for an adult party. We LOVED beating the crap out of that thing!

    On that note, I have a purple-iscious Flickr set to share w you…

  4. 4.

    The grocery store and McDonald’s seem to be great places to witness people who don’t mind swearing in front of their kids.

    I’m stunned how many parents casually say they are going to “beat your ass if you don’t listen.”

    I was at the Shoprite on Aramingo one day putting groceries in my car when a woman was walking with her two kids (maybe age 4 and 6) who was yelling into her cell phone to someone she was having a disagreement with… motherfucker this, motherfucker that… Angry, angry stuff. I guess it would have been almost as inappropriate without the swearing, but it’s
    hard to come up with great examples of when it is OK to swear in front of your children.

    I think we’ve all let one fly when we stub our toe or someone cuts us off in traffic, but it’s our job to teach our kids how to talk. When Sophie is cranky after daycare and yells, “I don’t want nothing for dinner!” I tell her, “No, you say, ‘I don’t want anything for dinner.'” It took a couple of weeks, but now she at least nags me with proper grammar.

    I don’t need a three year old yelling, “I don’t want shit for dinner!” at me, whether she’s using the word properly or not.

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