Thursday, June 30, 2005

When did you stop swearing in front of the baby?

Loretta and I had a blogger meet-up at my friendly neighborhood IHOP today, complete with offpsring. Her little girls are adorable and a ton of fun—very open and outgoing babies, which everyone knows is the best kind. Ben was also a happy-go-lucky baby and toddler (when he wasn't being an absolute hellion) and is a cheerful kid still, so I'm partial to happy babies. Which is not to say that a colicky or shy baby doesn't have its finer points, but you know what I'm getting at. Here are two cool things about Loretta: She has a tie-dyed nursing bra, and she lets her kids eat straight from the table (no wussy sanitary placemats, no antiseptic wipedown).

Anyway, Loretta asked me something that is probably not addressed in the garden-variety parenting handbook: When do you have to stop swearing? Her girls are 12 months old, so poor Loretta probably only has a few more months of good "Fuck it!" and "Holy Mother of Christ!" and "Cocksucking shit!" to go, right? Ben had a speech delay, so Mr. Tangerine and I got a free pass on swearing for at least an extra year, which was handy. (I was so proud when he finally was able to utter, "Fucking shit!" like a pro. And then I had to cut way, way back on the foul mouth.) Given my atypical experience with swearing-in-front-of-the-kid, would those of you who have kids beyond the baby stage share your experience? I'm sure Loretta would appreciate being able to swear just as long as possible, so let's be generous in our advice.

Isn't it lovely that blogs aren't subject to those fucking idiotic FCC obscenity regulations so we can swear like the bitches and assholes we are?

14 comments:

Sass said...

fuck yeah.

Mona Buonanotte said...

Oh we still swear, but less, and we sometimes use other euphimisms (oh fu....dge!). I gotta watch it with the 'jesusfuckingchrists', though, they just rooooooll off the tongue so nicely....

Orange said...

'Round these parts, we say "goodness gracious" and "oh my gosh" far more than we ever used to (which was never). I usually manage to yell about "frickin'" this and that. But the combination of pain and surprise always gets me (you know, like when I managed to whack my chin on the closet door jamb—that's always gonna be surprising), and then I holler "Fucking shit!" every time.

flea said...

How timely. Not five minutes ago I just told both my kids, "Jeez, you two really suck today."

So I suppose I haven't really gotten around to that, yet. Although Alex did have to ask his friend Jimmy what "what the hell" meant, because he'd never heard it before. Maybe I'm doing better than I thought.

Orange said...

"Flea, don't say 'suck,'" Ben would say. You're doing pretty well. I have an aunt who would call her children shitheads to their faces. You? You're a hero!

Ben likes to say, "What the...!" Sometimes people are taken aback because they think he's about to drop the F bomb, or at least a hell or heck—but really, he stops after "the."

Emma Goldman said...

We've explained to the kid that different people have different feelings about Bad Words, and he shouldn't use them even though we do. Because we do. I'm not quite up to my usual longshoreperson standards around him, and I leave out most of the compounds (not that I use them much anyway), but he routinely hears the standards. He also says "What the . . ." and stops, and he's particularly amused by my "jesus christ on rollerskates," though he says "geez."

True story: when he was about 3 or 4, C hears him pipe up from the back seat, "Daddy, was that a police car or a nut?" It took C awhile to figure out that, on a previous trip, instead of swearing at a taxi, he had called the driver a "nut." The kid wanted to know whether that car with the light on top was a police car or a nut (i.e., how could one tell the difference).

bitchphd said...

Yeah, we use a variation of Emma's approach. We swear, and I've explained to PK that while we don't really mind him swearing, other people think it's very impolite, so he shouldn't do it in front of them. It mostly seems to work.

Although we have started disapproving of him swearing *at us*, our real wrath is reserved for the word "stupid." Which means, of course, that it's his all-purpose favorite insult.

Stella said...

Oh dear. I have a feeling I'm going to have a problem with this one, should I ever decide to spawn.

Awwww, fuck. :-P

fireangel said...

When I accidentally swore infront of Ben he didn't know, and when he had his delayed speech and couldn't pronounce his T's for trucks I felt that he included me when he said, "Oh look it's a FireFuck, and oh look over there its a DumpFuck, and oh boy that's a big Fuck!"

It was good back then but now I give him a quarter everytimg I say the "F" word.

Stella said...

"Oh look it's a FireFuck, and oh look over there its a DumpFuck, and oh boy that's a big Fuck!"

That would SLAY me. Every single time.

Feral Mom said...

Well, it sounds like I have at least six months of swearing left, so I intend to make the most of it. In the meantime, I've learned a few new ones from y'all, so thanks! Dump Fuck! Fire Fuck! And boy is that president STUPID.

Thanks, motherfuckers!

Orange said...

I have to say my favorite kind of fuck has got to be the garbage fuck. In particular, the blue garbage fuck.

the nut said...

Hey, who says you have to stop? Peanut still hears it all, too, but has also been told that it's not appropriate for his mouth to say them.

I finally had to resort to punishment only because he was saying 'fuck' and 'shit' in school and/or his after-school program. For every bad word he had to drink a small spoonful of vinegar and it cured him quick.

I'm with Orange...I generally don't use fuck while he's around, but there are times like when I hit my shin on the corner of the car door and fuck came flying out.

Feral Mom said...

Perhaps we'll just have to get more creative with the swearing. Sweet bleeding...! But in the meantime, I'll keep all this advice in mind. I just know "Motherfucking Christ in Hell" is going to pop out of my mouth at some point. Then I'll look sheepish and say..."shhhh! don't tell Grandma, kids!"

Thanks to Orange for soliciting all the goddamn fucking feedback on this issue. And thanks to Orange and Ben for a lovely IHOP experience a few days back! I'm happy to report that Orange is as witty, sharp and warm in person as she is in this here blog. And Ben?

Utter gentleman. Charming, sweet, funny, and handsome. And was kind enough not to mention my stinky summer feet, even though he crawled near them under the table a few times...