Posted by: mindyourknitting | May 11, 2009

Potty Mouth

*I have a whole long Mother’s Day-themed post I’m working on, but Abigail kept us up last night so this will have to do for now. 

How does one edit certain words out of one’s vocabulary when they have been in regular use in said vocabulary for more than two decades?  I’m trying to stop swearing.  Kind of.  After reading a previous post (Sprung) my husband’s only comment was “you swear a lot.”  I beg to differ.  I don’t think a goddamn and a fuck qualify as a lot.  So maybe that’s part of the problem.  I know how to edit myself at work, in front of my parents, and in most situations where it would be wildly inappropriate to bust out a “motherfucker,” but I’m finding it harder to cut out the blue language in the comfort of my own home, or in our car after being rear-ended, for example.  And as a result my baby has probably heard language unsuitable for her little, perfect, innocent, shell-shaped ears.  I don’t know if the munchkin understands me yet, but I know she understands some things, so the sooner I learn to stop cussing like a sailor (no disrespect to the ladies and gents of the Royal Canadian Navy) the better.   Any ideas?  And please do not say a swear jar.  Or suggest that a I wear an elastic on my wrist that I snap every time I swear.  It will not work.

In other news, I’ve been catching up on some tv and have watched a few recent episodes of Lost and Heroes.   What the fuck?

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Responses

  1. I imagine that there are a lot of opinions on this one. I had parents who never swore in front of me except for the odd “Shit!” from Mom when something was dropped, spilled or broken. To this day, at age 35, it is still novel and wildly shocking to hear my parents swear.

    Some might say that it is more important to learn context, and the appropriate time and place for swearing than to pretend it doesn’t exist at all. However, I think that piece of the puzzle needs to fall into place when kids start “using swears.” There is something a little disturbing about a four year old who uses a cuss word in its correct form and in a syntactically (sp?) correct manner.

    Have you ever watched Battlestar Galactica? Could you choose a replacement word for your favourite four-letter friends? How about picking some obscure word you want Abigail to learn and using that one for the week? “Oh behemoth, I dropped the butter” or “why the perspicacity can’t you just take out the fulsome garbage?” Lastly, maybe instead of the ‘ol rubber band around the wrist trick, you keep the rubber bands around the wrist but then shoot them when you need to. That activity was big-time banned for me while growing up, so you might achieve the rebelious feeling without the obscenity rearing its ugly head.

    I’m eager to see how you deal with this!
    🙂 PJ

  2. Hahaha I am so using the “Oh behemoth…”, that’s great. My parents never swore in front of me either, and to this day if my dad swears in front of me it sounds like “oh shit sorry tris” – they always apologize right after they catch themselves. I think part of the problem is that when you’re alone at home with baby you edit yourself less, not more, since for a while you assume they don’t understand you anyway. I totally agree about how disturbing it is to see young children cursing – some family members of mine swear a great deal in front of their kids, and it is no surprise that one of the kids uses some questionable language.

  3. Shaun and I have the same affliction it seems… I’ve been known to swear like a trucker, and Shaun (and his co-workers) swear pretty openly at work. All I can say is we’re really trying to replace the naughty words with better ones, like “Drat I just bit my tongue” or “What’s with the flick-flacking weather today?”… so if you come up with a good solution, please pass it on!! 🙂


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