A guy I know keeps a glass jar on the top of his refrigerator marked “Potty Mouth”. Whenever he curses, he puts a dollar in it for charity. I need one too, or at least a precocious eight-year-old thinks I do:
“You just said a bad word,” George’s little cousin says to me (with the intent of an interrogator).
“Shit,” I think, replaying the dinner conversation in my head....“What’d I say?” I ask with trepidation.
“You said ‘stupid’,” Mary Louise says.
“Phew, ‘not as bad as I thought’,” I think.
“Well,” I didactically explain. “I didn’t call a person stupid; what I did was call something they did stupid and that really isn’t that bad.”
(I remember learning that somewhere as a youngster, right? Back me up here, folks!)
Mary Louise listens patiently. But she isn’t buying my backpedaling. She gives me the blank stare of an eight-year-old. The look says “my world is and will continue to be black and white until I’m well beyond a teenager, so don’t waste your breath”.
I feel about two feet tall. And speaking of two feet tall, Claire is now in the full-blown mimicking stage.
“Un, do, tree, foo”, she says, sounding like Buckwheat (only way cuter), and having no clue that she’s actually counting….Hence the thought of a jar that penalizes you.
Mary Louise made me realize how much kids are actually listening -- even when you think they’re not. So instead of thinking about Claire using the potty, I'm worrying about my potty mouth. Of course, I want to be a good role model, which means I'm minding my P’s and Q’s.
And F’s! That’s my favorite one…the F word. It’s versatile -- can be used in a number of ways, as different parts of speech. I often use it as a modifier, replacing words like ‘very’.
So F and I are breaking up. He’s a bad influence. It’s going to be hard for me. If you’ve read my bio, you know I am a mom of a “certain age”. The F-word has been a companion for a f-ing…oh wait, I mean, very long time.
The good news is that some charity will be the benefactor of my bad habit. Let me know your favorite one. I just might consider writing a check ahead of time…
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