The first time I heard the word "fuck" I was seven. The first time Archer heard the word, "fuck," he was seven... minutes old.
I don't mean to swear. It just comes out. Like snorting when I laugh or peeing when crouched over the toilet.
In my defense I have done a pretty good job censoring myself since Arch was born. I've replaced many a fuck for eff and replaced shit with poop, etc. Of course when something awful abruptly happens, "Effing Poop!" is not what comes out of my mouth.
For example, when I stub my toe or my computer crashes before I get a chance to save, or I burn myself making eggs, I curse. Loud. (Hot oil splattering on the chest deserves a few fuck-shit-fucks, in my opinion.)
I know that there are plenty of parents who are able to put a ceasefire on their expletives, at least in front of the kids. I am, sadly, not one of them.
Personally, I have no idea what constitutes as a curse word, these days, but this would be a partial list of my guesses:
Crap = no.
Fuck = yes
Asshole = yes
Sucks = no
Fucking sucks = yes
I desperately want to set a good example for my son, especially where language is concerned but I'm afraid I'm at great risk of becoming a raging hypocritasaurus.
I don't understand how parents can tells their kids not to do something when they themselves do it. How does one make this work?
I blame my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Mary Poppins for my naivete. They were all for song and dance and jumping into chalk paintings. Never a vice in sight or a profanity in earshot.
When my parents caught me smoking cigarettes in 8th grade and told me I had to stop, they weren't sneaking them late at night behind the trash bins. When I was lectured for saying "shit" because "shit wasn't allowed in the house," I had to respect that, because it was true. No one said "shit" in our house, which was annoying, because I never had a good argument, unlike many of my friends who had parents that smoked in secret or cursed out loud.
I digress... The time has finally come for me to be more aware of my words. To stop making excuses for my potty-mouth, buck up and face the music because Archer's listening. And repeating after me.
Last week, after collapsing beside me on a heap of warm-from-the-dryer laundry (my favorite) Archer told me that he "felt like ass."
"I feee ike ass" were his exact words, not ten seconds after I had said them, myself.
"Archer! Don't say that! Nooooooo..." I howled.
But it was too late.
"I eelack ass! Eeeeelack ASSSSS!"
"Only mommies can say that!"
I was both horrified at my hypocrisy and mildly amused at the idea that Archer, who had spent all day stepping on my feet and dancing around the house, laughing and smiling and having a superb ol' time, felt like ass.
"You have no idea what ass feels like," I thought, changing the subject by offering Archer, the alphabet song.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G...
He quickly joined me, singing along, forgetting all thinks ass-ish. Of course, I won't always be so lucky. There will come a day, I'm afraid, when the alphabet song won't be so beloved.
Thankfully, after confronting my list o cuss words, I see that ass is on my safe list, which means, I'm letting myself off the hook... for now. Still, I'm afraid that next time I won't be so lucky.
In the meantime.... Does anyone have a mute button I can borrow, or at the very least, some life experience they can lend to this situation? Do you curse in front of your kids? Did your parents curse in front of you? Did it totally fu.... I mean, screw you up?
Do I need duct tape? A bar of soap permanently in my mouth?
Talk to me, friends.