January 9, 2012

Rob - The Art of Swearing

When I was a teenager growing up in a small town, like most people, I used profanity as a regular part of my everyday vernacular. Now that is not to say that I dropped the F-bomb while talking to Grandma or threw in the dreaded C-word while ordering a pizza. Similar to most young people, I incorporated swearing into most conversations but understood that there were times and places that certain phrases just weren't appropriate.

Perhaps it was an introduction to a wider range of people or maybe it was moving to Ottawa and being exposed to both official languages on a regular basis - by the way, in my experience no one can swear more eloquently than a bilingual francophone using both French and English in the same sentence - but, during my university days and the years I spent working in the trade show and special events industry, my swearing moved into new and uncharted territories. While I still understood that there were times that cursing was inappropriate, I actually do recall dropping the F-bomb in a conversation with my Grandma.
However, once I entered the 9-5 office environment, got married and especially when I became a father, I really and truly thought that I had gotten a handle on it and the days of wildly inappropriate language spewing forth out my my mouth like a drunken sailor were behind me. Sure, if I smashed my finger with a hammer or got puked on by one my girls, a flurry of filth was bound to come out but seriously, who the f*#k wouldn't do the same thing. For the most part though, other than the odd rare night out with friends when the drinks were flowing or the above mentioned shock/injury related instance, I really did believe that I had cleaned up my act.

Now just in case you were not aware, my oldest daughter is about 3.5 years old. She is bright, well spoken, full of energy and for the most a pretty good kid so it was a huge shock when she looked me straight in the eye a few months ago and said;


Like most parents before me, I'm assuming, my jaw hit the ground and once the initial horror had passed, I tried desperately to keep a straight face and come up with a good game plan for dealing with 3 year old potty mouth. I was used to potty work of another kind, but this was totally different and I was unprepared. I figured she must have picked this up from one of her relatives, or an older kid, or even TV because I had been good for years. Unfortunately when I asked her where she learned that word, she told me that it was from me, but on some level, I continued to pretend it wasn't me.

Well, after talking to numerous other parents, I came to the conclusion that kids are probably going to learn all the bad words much younger than I did and based on the general consensus, if you don't make a big deal out of the swearing, it will just fade into the background.

Armed with my new found knowledge, I forged ahead and all my conversations with my daughter included only G rated words for about two weeks when our wonderful daycare provider informed me that she pulled out the S word. She had also created a song using only the word poop which I am ashamed to admit was really catchy. I still find myself singing it every now and again.
Unfortunately the swearing, while not happening on a regular basis, has been increasing in frequency since that first incident. In fact, just last night she turned to me and said, "Daddy - What does crap mean? Crap! Damn! Crap!" When I told her those were bad words that we shouldn't really use and asked her who had said them, once again to my great shame, she informed me that I had just used them while while watching the hockey game. Oops! For the third time since Christmas when confronted about my daughter using bad words, it would appear that I was the source of all this inappropriate language.

Absolutely not. I'm innocent. I swear, literally or not, that I have been a model citizen. Well, maybe I use the odd cuss word now and then....Wait a minute, holy sh*t, mo&*%r f&ck!r, Tabernacle and smash me over the head with a f%^king rubber mallet, I think maybe I am part of the problem. I really actually swear all the time, about everything.

Now, I'm not saying that I am going to stop cold turkey, but now that I'm aware and for the sake of not being totally mortified when my daughter tells the waitress at a restaurant that she didn't damn well want the regular milk and to bring her a f&*king chocolate one instead please. (We have been working hard on our please and thank yous). Rather, I'm going to actually work even harder on what is coming out of my mouth and at the same time try not to get too worked up about it. I mean, when we were at the skating rink the other day two young girls walked by and said some things that even made me blush, so perhaps swearing isn't as taboo as it once was.

I don't know how many of you have dealt with something like this at work, home or with your kids, but I have realized that there really is an art to swearing or rather, not swearing. I thinking most people probably have a few good, shocking, bad language stories and we can all use a laugh so why don't you share them below so I can stop feeling so damn guilty.


~AL~ said...

Rob we got a good laugh out of this one.... Good luck with that. :)

Kataroo said...

It it wrong that I loved that and I must get the words to this poop song!

on another note I must really clean up my own language....the f-word is much to frequent :(

Rob said...

So far after one week, I think I have actually gotten worse. It's like writing about it has given me an excuse.