I am not a perfect mother. Not by any stretch. I yell too much. We probably eat fast food more than we should. I use a calculator to check my son’s math homework. When I’m short on cash I “borrow” money from their piggy banks. I blog about their every move, something they’ll undoubtedly be charmed by ten years from now.
I do however, do one thing right, and it’s something I’m pretty proud of.
I do not curse in front of them. Ever.
I know what you are thinking. How is that possible? I mean on a regular basis they spill milk and juice all over the kitchen floor. They lose homework. They scratch car doors. They drop their little brother off the coffee table of the living room. They leave their $50, perfectly worn in baseball mitt at the field, losing it forever.
They’re kids! They do dumb things! I should be using language that would make Kathy Griffin blush.
Oh. That’s not what you meant, is it?
I guess the real question is, how can a grown woman swear that she doesn’t swear in front of her kids? For me it’s easy. I don’t curse. Period.
I don’t have a real reason. It’s not a religious thing. I’m not living a life of purity or perfection. And I don’t sit here passing judgement other people who do use bad words (in front of their kids or not).
I just don’t.
Could it be my Catholic grammar school upbringing? I suppose. Did I have a fear of getting in trouble at home? Maybe, but I got in trouble at home for lots of things, just like everyone else. I just never cursed. And as I got older, I realized that I had never cursed and continued not to.
(OK, in the interest of full disclosure, in my 36 years I have probably used “inappropriate language” a grand total of five times. But trust me, I was angry. Very angry. It was completely appropriate. And still, it wasn’t in front of the kids.)
Anyway, that I don’t curse means that those words are not a part of my usual vocabulary. They aren’t front and center in my brain. So for the same reason that I don’t use words like archimime* or buccula** in front of my children, I don’t use certain others (and no, I don’t type curses either).
So curse words are never said in front of my children. By me anyway. Which is a good thing for a couple of reasons.
First off, simply, that I’m not using that kind of language in front of them. My yelling (and trust me, I yell) is always of the PG variety. Not a bad thing. Second, maybe they’ll mimic me and pick up on my good habits. And sure, it’s funny when you hear a toddler saying something they probably shouldn’t. The first time. After that, well, it’s embarrassing. (And it’s definitely not cute coming out of the mouth of a tween.)
So the next time you are at the store and you see a child knock a display of glass pickle jars over and the mom is there, red-faced, fuming and embarrassed and saying things like “Bananas!” and “Fiddlesticks!” come and say hello. It’s just me, venting my frustrations the only way I know how.
Do you curse in front of your kids? Suzanne has admitted to a transgression or two, but it’s not like she’s entering sailor territory or anything.
* chief buffoon
** double chin
(Source: Obscure words with definitions)