Spoiler Alert: This blog post is going to have a lot of cuss words in it. If you are someone who is offended by such language, then perhaps you should stop reading. If, however, you are someone who enjoys dropping f-bombs and find it especially funny when a little kids says something lewd, read on…
The other day my friend, a mom of a kindergartener, asked a few of us when our kids first said bad words. Her little angel had called his grandma a “fucking asshole” when she inadvertently beat him at checkers. (Note I say inadvertently. For some reason, we feel like we are doing our kids a disservice by letting them lose, so we take the fall so as not to crush their delicate little egos. Apparently grandma didn’t get the memo, hence the inadvertent ass-kicking of a six year old.)
Grandma was a smart old broad, so she just ignored the kid, folded up the checkers set, and put junior to bed. She left the heavy lifting to mom, whose job it now was to school her son on not calling your elders fucking assholes. At least not out loud.
Of course all the other women at the table had tales of toddlers bitching out other kids, cursing at grown-ups, and shocking classmates and teachers with their itty-bitty potty mouths. One of my friends’ kids told her, “Fuck your soul” — my personal favorite.
Oddly enough, I was the only one who couldn’t remember the first time my kids said anything bad. And that’s not only my mid-life sieve brain talking. I think I’ve literally scared the shit out of them.
I follow the Steven and Elyse Keaton Parenting Style, immortalized in the show Family Ties. That ’80s sitcom’s premise was how hilarity ensues when two counterculture, liberal hippies raise a conservative, supply-side economics embracing teen, their son Alex P. Keaton. The more liberal they are, the more buttoned-up he is.
The method was also practiced by my own mother, who taught me swear words at her knee. Most notable was the time she described one of my friends’ moms as a twat. She didn’t mean it in a nasty way at all — the woman in question had just gotten a particularly curly perm, so my mom was just being literal.
Suffice to say my brother and I kept it relatively clean until high school, when euphemisms like “pardon the expression, damn” (my bro’s) turned from being adorable to being a sure way to lose your lunch money. Then all bets were off, and we went down the mo’fo rabbit hole.
So when my son was torturing my daughter during a long car ride, I told him to stop being a dick. (That went over like a lead balloon with two of my closest friends, who were also in the car with their kids.) When my daughter is throwing a hissy fit about coming with me to run errands, I tell her to stop being an ass and do what I’m asking. (And of course I promise to buy her something, too. That’s ample retribution for calling her an ass.)
Does any of this make me a bad parent? Maybe in your book. But in my book, the world is full of giant dicks and asses who say and do crappy, unfair things all the time. And if the person giving you shit is an authority figure, you just have to buck-up, put on a happy face, and go play the game. But always remember Mommy’s Secret Weapon…
(If this were a parenting book, the following nugget would be torn out, written in invisible ink, and delivered in a brown paper bag.)
Mommy’s secret weapon is this: when dealing with a prick (or prickette), start by thinking about the worst possible words you can sling at the aforementioned prick(ette). In your room, the car, the shower — wherever you have some privacy — say them out loud. Scream them at the top of your lungs. Let shit-fuck-damn rip, and blow off a little harmless steam.
Of course if your kids play with mine, I’ll never cop to the details of my mo’fo child-rearing theories. Instead, you’ll just hear me utter the age-old parenting chestnut…
Use your words.
Fuckin’ A — my work here is done!