I have a potty mouth. It might not be reflected accurately in my writing, but it is not uncommon to hear some really choice phrases come out of me. Especially when driving. Or when I stub my toe really hard. Or, really, any time I’m worked up about something.
But now that I have a pair of toddlers who take great delight in repeating nearly everything I say, I’m trying to watch it. Everyone makes their own choices on this issue, of course, but I do not want to be the one with the kids ranting that something “sucks,” or worse. That’s just not how I was raised. I remember being somewhat shocked the first time I heard my own mother swear, and I think I’d just as soon my kids held the same illusions about me.
My husband and I have been working on a good replacement word for our four-lettered friends. Something you can say in your moments of stress without worrying about the kids saying it right back to you. Our current choice: Awesome. For instance, when following a typical Massachusetts driver, it might sound something like “Find your awesome turn-signal, jack-awesome!!” Or, after our delayed flight home from Chicago in December, when we were waiting and waiting at the nearly-abandoned baggage carousel at 2AM, “let’s just get our awesome bags and get the awesome home.”
There was just one side to this whole obscenity thing, though, that I did not anticipate: colorful toddler pronunciations of otherwise harmless words. Daniel, in particular, has a few favorites that just aren’t quite right. At the moment, he loves to point out trucks. Except, for some reason, he prefers an “s” to the “t,” so there’s a lot of shouting “sucks! sucks!” from my back seat. He also is a big fan of letting you know, with great enthusiasm, if there is a clock nearby. Except, well, he just drops the “L.” So that’s… special. And then there’s one of his very favorites: flag. He really loves to see flags flying high in the wind, or the several dozen when we pass the cemetary. With the dropped L and the G sounding more like a K…. Honest to God, it sounds like my son drops the f-bomb every 5 minutes. I swear… it’s not my fault! I was being so good around them!
Though, just the same, I guess I should stop listening to the Avenue Q soundtrack while they’re in the playroom.
What about you, dear readers…. what is your choice for curse-word replacement? Have your kids repeated something you wished they wouldn’t?