Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Potty Mouth

I realize that I don’t have the best language in the world, but I pride myself on the fact that I can really control it in front of my children. Apparently, I do a very poor job of that as was illustrated yesterday.

Eli, who is now 4, was getting his fingerpaints out of the cabinet, when he knocked a stack of napkins down. He said, “Those f*cking things are always getting in my way!” I stopped dead in my tracks and looked at him. “What did you just say?” I asked.

Blink. Blink. “Um. Nothing.” Uh-huh. I told him that he really needed to watch his language, and was still hoping at that point that I had misheard him.

Not five minutes later, Georgia began playing with her stuffed dog that plays “Love Machine.” Eli was trying to watch Caillou, and he was not happy that Georgia was making so much noise. He picked up her dog and brought it in the office. He said, “I don’t want this damn dog in the family room!”

Startled, I said, “Eli!! What has gotten into you today?” He just said, “This freaking thing is too loud!”

I immediately snapped into mom mode. I took him by both arms and got right in his face. I said, “Listen to me, young man. You need to think very carefully about the words you choose. You know that some of those words are not appropriate for little boys to use.” His response? *Sigh* “Whatever!”

Oh no, he didn’t!

So I said, “Okay, let’s try it this way. The next time I hear you say a bad word, I am going to wash your mouth out with soap.” Finally! Something got his attention!

“Noooo! I don’t want soap in my mouth!”

“Then you better choose your words carefully.”

That was the end of that, and for the rest of the day we didn’t have any problems. I immediately called Eric at work and told him the situation, asking him “Where the f*ck does Eli pick this up?” In his amused sarcastic tone, Eric said, “Oh gee, I wonder where he gets it?!”

I said, “I do NOT talk that way in front of the children!” Then we lapsed into – “Yes you do.” “No I don’t.” “Yes you do.” “No I don’t.”

He said, “Neila! I have heard you. You may not realize you’re saying it, but you DO say it.”

Well, double crap! I am really trying! And it would be one thing if Eli had just uttered a bad word as if he didn’t know what it meant. But what really upsets me is the fact that he used them in the proper context.

I guess I am really going to have to watch it now. Maybe I should try some sort of shock therapy for every time I say a bad word. Eric is kind enough that he offered to wash my mouth out with soap. He is enjoying this waaaay too much!


ian said...

The eldest EDogling (age 8) let the F-bomb slip the other night in front of us. It would have been hilarious had it not been such a shocker to hear "What the fuck is the matter with this thing?" from the mouths of babes.

It's not me. Honest. I leave my potty mouth at work where it belongs. I think it's my wife - she cusses like a deputy on a bad night and doesn't always realize it. I hope she doesn't read this, or I'm fucked.



LindaLou said...

I've never left a comment before but I read your blog almost every day. However, this specific entry left me needing to tell you this:
When I was 4, I was following along behind my mom at the grocery store when I said, "It's a good thing I reminded you about the hamburger buns because you'd have gotten home and said 'Oh Shit! I forgot the hamburger buns!'"

Christie said...

haha! too funny! i cursed like a trucker throughout my pregnancy, i really have no idea why. and now i have to de-activate cursing altogether as he starts picking up words. but it's hard! I don't even notice it sometimes!! (although it's much better than it used to be). my second project will be my road rage.

Sadie said...

I find that so funny. I always get in trouble when I'm around my 3 year old niece b/c I have no control over my mouth.

Morgen said...

Ha! I love the little scamp, potty mouth and all! Even the second time I hear this story, I think of A Christmas Story!
And Lindalou's Oh Shit story is a classic, too!
Thanks for sharing these effin stories with us!

Mari said...

My son called the dog a fucking bitch when he was two. At least he used the term accurately!

jenny said...

This is my biggest fear when we have kids...I swear like a truck driver and my husband is contantly giving me shit about it. I told him I've learned to be good around our friend's kids, so I'll be good when the time comes, but I am seriously afraid my 2 year old will call the cat a fucking bitch like Mari's son!

Crazy Working Mom said...

*LOL* I think we've all had this problem! They will ALWAYS repeat those bad words, but you have to bribe them to say thank you and please, right!?
Great post. Good luck on the shock therapy. heh heh

Slackermommy said...

I can relate! My kids charge me a dollar. They're getting rich!

A.J.Reams said...

I would have gone nuts right after the "whatever" comment! The bad words are just that, "bad words". The "whatever" comment is just plain disrespectful.

Now I don't really think it's being disrespectful coming from someone as little as your son but if my 10 or 8 year old said that to me they had better duck fast.

I haven't heard my kids speak with foul language yet. However, I'd do the same thing you did. I'd quickly get into their faces and then threaten the bar of soap.

Momish said...

I suffer from this dilemma as well. But, have learned from friends who had kids before me. They simply tell their kids those are "at home words" and move on. I like that tactic, I must admit. Seems easier than changing my 40 year old potty mouth habit!

Julie said...

Oh God, that reminds me of when I started teaching. It was f*cking hard to not swear every other word! But I knew if I let one slip, I could be fired, so that was a good incentive to choose every single word VERY carefully. I also chose specific words to substitute for those bad words. F*ck became "frick" or "frack" or "fudge", sh*t became "shoot", etc. Sometimes I'd catch myself in the middle of a swear word and have to switch into slow motion mode to change the ending of the word. Imagine me hitting me knee on a 2nd graders desk, and spouting, "shhhhhiii...ooooottt!!"

Sunrunner said...

No, Ian you're not in trouble. It's true I swear, sometimes really badly. My quick fix for the kids was that they couldn't say any of those words until they were 18, and then NEVER in front of their grandparents or out in public. We'll see if it works...