can't stop won't stop

Everyone always tells you that there will come a time when you have to stop swearing around your kids. Everyone says, "little ears hear everything," and, "you think it's funny now, but just wait until school calls..."

Chicken has been talking up a storm for over a year now.

Yes, his little ears hear everything.

And yes, he has sampled the occasional expletive, rolled "shit" around in his mouth, chewed on a "motherfucker," and tasted tangy "balls." I have heard him whisper "ffffffuckit. Ffffffuckit Ffffffuckit," into his chest from the back seat of the car, seconds after I had expressed, to a friend, my own hands-up existential swagger with those same words.

But I've never stopped swearing. I gave up marathon training and happy hours. I gave up silk blouses and pretty shoes. I gave up clean hair. I gave up nice things.

I will not give up my fucking expletives. Never. YOU HEAR ME? NEVER!*

*and by NEVER I mean not right now. Somewhere down the road I will absolutely have to stop swearing in front of my kids.

It's not just because I want to seem cool. It's because the day I became a parent I was ostracized from so many of the customs that I'd practiced my whole life. It's the same idea behind See Me - mothers aren't born virtuous. Mothers were once college kids and young professionals who heard their fair share of bawdy, fratty humor. Mothers bought tickets to Bad Santa and The Wolf of Wall Street and we fucking laughed our asses off at South Park. We are not good all the time. Sometimes we say really fucking bad words and it feels fucking fantastic.

If you're like me and want to keep on keepin on like a grown-ass person who lives in a free-ass country, here are my two tips for continuing to swear in front of your young toddler.

1. Try, if you can, to weave your expletives into the fabric of your sentences as though they were just another word. Toddlers latch onto the words we most emphasize, so if you want to carpet-f-bomb your playroom, just make sure to say them casually.

Instead of

"I just stepped on a FUCKING Lego and I hate everything now!"


"FUCK! I just stepped on a Lego and I hate everything now!"


"I just STEPPED on a fuckinglego and I HATE EVERYTHING NOW."

2. If they do pick up one of your swear words, you have a choice. You can ignore it, or pretend you're hard of hearing.

For example:

Chicken says "fuckit"

And I can either say,
a) nothing


b) "yes, baby, a bucket! Buckets are what we use to carry water, just like Jack and Jill! Should we do Jack and Jill?"

The best part of this is that mush-mouthed toddlers will often reverse-hard-of-hearing you, and either repeat bad words as not-so-bad words, or turn innocuous everyday objects into R-rated material.

You know I have an example of each, from today, don't you.

Chicken, chewing up a bad word and spitting out something hilarious and not at all offensive:

On our way home from Costco this afternoon:
Ryan: Oh, wow, look the prostitutes are already out!
Chicken: Mostatutes? Mostatutes. Monstah toots? Monstah toots! Stinky monstah toots!

Chicken, taking a simple, harmless, churchgoing object and fouling it up like so many Jersey shore lifeguards:

Sitting at the table for lunch, Chicken picks up a clock and pretends it is about to blast off.
Me: What do you have there, Chicken?
Chicken: A cock rocket!
Me: I'm sorry?
Chicken: A cock rocket! 3! 2! 1! BLAST OFF COCK ROCKET! Mommy! Look out! It's going to your face!

Oh, please, not the face.

At one point in time, "fork" and "truck" were indistinguishable from mommy's favorite word of all time.

Buster will be there again soon... I can't wait.

In the meantime, and for as long as I can, I'm going to enjoy swearing in front of my kids. And if that's your thing, I hope you do too.


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