I always knew that I didn’t want to swear in front of my kids. That’s not to say that I don’t occasionally slip up, but, for the most part, I try to censor what I say. That’s really the best any of us can do.
It’s hard sometimes. You run into countless situations in the day where a well-shouted curse word will alleviate some stress. Whether it’s getting pwned in a video game, watching your team choke at a sporting event, or trying to fix the mother-fudging vent behind the darn dryer, some bad times call for some bad words.
This has led to some pretty imaginative choices of “alternate” swears through the years. For those who are unfamiliar with expressing sudden frustration in front of a wide-eyed five year old, these phony profanities aren’t pre-planned. Instead, they are the improvised second halves of words that instinctively come out of your mouth and are stopped mid-way. Many begin with the “fuh” sound.
Fuuuuuungus Mother…Couch…Sticks! Argh!
They are stream of consciousness words. Most times, I don’t even know what they are going to be until I say them. They just happen. In fact, one time during a particularly annoying Xbox session with kids in the room, I yelled out “Fuuuuuuu…dge Packers! Uh, wait. That’s ones not good either. Don’t say that.” That’s how organic these things are.
The irony here is that Olivia knows the word I want to say. I know this for two reasons. The first is because when I do happen to just say “Fuu….” and stop, she’ll chime in with, “I know the word you wanted to say.”
I also know because when she was just under three, she came back from daycare and told us about her day.
Gavin say a bad word.
My wife and I chuckled. What could this big bad word be? Poop? Pee? Ha ha. We asked her for more information and, standing there in her frilly little dress and bow, my precious little baby answered.
Like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story”, she hadn’t said “fudge.” She said the king of all curses. I was able to compose myself better than my wife, who burst into hysterics. We explained that she should never say that word and filed the memory into the adorable insanity file.
Luckily my self-censorhip has kept her from knowing many of the words that littered my youth. Another dad phrase that I’ve used often is “son of a jerk.” It takes the place of its b-worded counterpart and fits all of the same predicaments. I used it so often that my daughter actually thought it was a bad word. This was discovered when a TV show beeped someone who had just uttered “Son of a…”.
I know that word. You say it all the time.
Yeah. The D word.
That one knocked me for a loop. Had I deviated from “jerk”? What did I say? I knew a few different D words but never used any in front of her, much less in the most ridiculous context. Instead of silently guessing, I figured I’d just ask.
The D word? What is it? You can say it. You won’t get in trouble.
I smiled. When you have a young child at home, moments like that remind you to enjoy this age. This won’t go on forever. Soon she’ll know all the words and how to spell them. For now, she’s innocent of most of that and I couldn’t be fudgin’ happier.
Of course, I also love another moment that comes from all this. It’s that time when you realize that there are all alone at home for some reason. Maybe the kids are at school. Maybe my wife has taken them out of the day. Regardless of the reason, everyone is out of the house…and I suddenly become aware of it.
And I throw my head back and I let out the loudest swear word I can imagine. The kind of shout that rattles the chandelier and makes the cats dart across the room. I get it out of my system now so that I can go back to being TV-PG when the kids come barreling back through the door.
If this isn’t something you do, you should make it something you do. It ain’t easy holding it all in, sometimes you’ve just got to let your mother fudgin’ hair down.