Because it’s Sunday, I feel it is appropriate to confess that I have a potty mouth. It could be worse. I wouldn’t cut it in a Tarentino movie and I won’t be replacing Howard Stern any time soon. I have a filter. I can pull it together. But I still swear more than the average mama bear and I’m not proud of it. 99.4% of the time my usage of such classy words is limited to outbursts from my clumsiness – most likely dropping groceries, breaking a glass, stubbing my toe, the usual culprits. But the small mimicking parrot child that follows me around on a regular basis seems keenly aware of all things that shouldn’t be said, so I’m turning a new leaf and trying to cut the shameful four-letter terms from my vocab.
The realization I needed to change my ways started several months ago. Hazel was just beginning to form more coherent words and I vividly recall one entire day when she repeated a particular word over and over and OVER again. Because of my newfound G-rated venacular I’ll spare your sensitive eyeballs and hint that this word rhymed with “spit” and could be utilized to describe my cooking. As I listened, with a slight twitch, to our innocent tot spouting this word as clear as crystal, I convinced myself she was clearly looking for her SHIRT. Amid nervous laughter I would rush to her dresser and say, “here you go! Here’s your SHIRT…SH-ERT…SHIIIIRT.” For some reason, despite my enthusiasm and determination, she just didn’t seem interested in this item of clothing or altering her pronunciation. Weird. Fortunately, it wasn’t 24 hours before it fell out of favor for “apple” or “book” or something more innocuous.
Both Nathan and I have made strides since then. Unfortunately for our dinnerware, my clumsiness has not improved, so I have replaced my former outbursts with equally intelligent but less offensive expressions including, “Golly!” “Son of a biscuit!” “Fish sauce!” and “Awww crapsicle!” I have no doubts we sound absurd or like writer rejects from a sitcom circa 1950, but you gotsta do whatcha gotsta do.
I applaud our improvements, ridiculous dialect and all. We are far from perfect, however, and as Nathan learned on a recent trip to the grocery store, Hazel isn’t immune from the unexpected expletive as result of a car pulling out directly in front of your well-meaning father. Fortunately, we quickly changed subject, started yelling out other safe and apparently more enticing words, and may (*fingers crossed* ) keep our daughter from ending up on the Jerry Springer of 2025, an MTV “reality show” or from writing an autobiography called, “I Turned Out This Way Because of My F$*@’in Parents.” We hope.