Let me just start with me acknowledging that that some people are not going to like this post. The more I share on my blog about my mom-fails, the more people comment to me online about how horrible my parenting actually is. I fully recognize that I am not perfect, and in sharing posts like this I am really trying to share my stories of what I have done (right or wrong), and hopefully I can help out other people who are going through the same things. Yes I make mistakes – more often than not! But every day I am trying to be a better parent, so go easy on me – especially after you read this one!
I am not sure if I have always been guilty of cursing a lot, but it sure seems like I do since I have tried to limit myself.
There are the injury-related curses that pop out of my mouth (caused by things like stubbing my toe, banging my knee, or stepping on a monster truck) which are more of a reaction to pain than anything, and there are the I-messed-up-bad curses when I miss a turn when driving through the city, or I totally forgot the most important thing I was supposed to remember. The worst times are when I am re-telling a story or event where cursing was involved and I think my son is in another room out of earshot, and suddenly he pops his head in to remind me of his presence.
If I truly wanted to practice some lady-like behavior then I wouldn’t be cursing at all. It’s not like curse words are part of my every day vocabulary, but when I get hit in the side of the head with a football Marsha-Brady style with no inclement of the football coming my way and my temple explodes in pain, something bad might pop out of my mouth.
I always catch myself and understand that I should not be using words like that in front of my toddler, but lately he has been reminding me why.
My son repeats everything my husband and I say now. We sometimes think he isn’t paying attending at all when we are talking, and he will suddenly pop in from another room to tell us what he thinks about what we are taking about.
It’s like we have just realized there is a real-life person with opinions and great listening skills living in our home.
So what do you do when they repeat the worst things that come out of your mouth?
We had a lot of snow last week, and on the way home my son and I got stuck in the snow. We were on a relatively quiet street so we weren’t in any danger, but I had to find a way to get us out of there since my husband was out of town and I had no one to save me!
Once I actually got stuck, a curse word popped out of my mouth. I actually said “Oh, Sh*$t”. Seconds later my son repeated it. Yikes. I tried to ignore it so it didn’t seem like a big deal. He repeated it anyway.
I tried to reverse the car, and I got us even deeper in the snow. I was starting to get a little worried and it popped out again – “Oh SH*$t.” The kid in the back seat repeated me again.
We were really stuck, and I didn’t know what to do. And to make things worse my son was saying what I had said over and over again.
I tried to tell him that I had actually said “Oh shoot”. He didn’t buy it.
I tried giving him a better explanation and told him he had his hat over his ears so he didn’t hear me properly, and that I actually said “Oh shoot”. He said very clearly to me “No Mommy, that’s not what you said”.
At this point I was officially a potty mouth, and a liar.
Seriously, how was I going to get out of this mess? I was more worried about the curse word slip than the fact that my car was stuck on the side of the road.
Finally I took a big breath and I tried a different approach. A bit of trickery really. As I tried to get un-stuck in the snow, every once in a while I would say “Oh sugar”. I probably did it 4 or 5 times with an Oscar-winning performance attached to it to reinact how I was commenting earlier.
It worked. The whole car ride home I heard “Oh sugar” from him.
My son spent the next day saying “sugar”, until finally he seemed to forget the the unfortunate slang I had inadvertently taught him.
I’ve felt pretty rotten about the whole situation ever since. Not only is cursing bad in general anyway, I just cannot do it in front of my son. He’s too smart now! He wants to be just like his parents, but I’d really rather he didn’t take after his potty-mouthed mother.
To recover from my future slip-ups (if I drop a bowling ball on my foot I’m pretty sure something not nice will be popping out), I have at least learned I will need to be a little crafty with with how I cover up what I have said until he is older and I can explain that he shouldn’t repeat it. My main goal is to try to avoid cursing in front of him all together, and I’m hoping I can do it!