I fully realize that I have read several similar blog posts about this topic recently but like a group of parents sitting around in the suburbs having a few drinks, I wanted to tell my own version of the story. Be prepared that I have no lightbulb illuminating, sage parenting advice to impart here. Rather, a tale of my own, ongoing poor judgement and the inevitable consequences.
So I have a problem. It’s not what I would define as a serious problem but it’s a problem nonetheless. I am a chronic “cusser ”. As such, I don’t really seem to have much of a filter. Hell, if I’m truly honest I have no filter at all. I’ve had this problem as long as I can remember and I think at this stage of my life I’ve come to accept that I am unlikely to change.
I read an article a few years ago that said swearing in public, and even at the office, can instill other's confidence in you. Apparently, people who swear (assuming this is in the PG sense with the odd F bomb, as opposed to the X rated sense--use your imagination folks), are seen as comfortable, confident and open by those around them. A person who is not afraid to cuss in public is a person you can trust!
Well, while I had always sworn a lot in private and around friends, I took that article to heart and ever since have been dropping nuggets of juicy curse words every chance I get. I swear at the office, in meetings, around the house and even in front of my 91 year old grandmother. It shows I’m confident and open, right?
However, I will also admit that as someone with three young kids, I have come to realize that they are little sponges that soak up everything around them and perhaps unleashing a string of Alphabet Swear Soup on a regular basis could have some fire consequences. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it and will do it again, but rather, I recognise the value in practicing some level of restraint.
My motto has always been that PG language makes it acceptable and is usually okay even in front of the kids and with that in mind, somehow I came up with a mental list of what I refer to as “Lite Swears”. Crap is okay. D-bag, D-canoe, D-nozzle, the occasional F or SH bombs (but only if you are really mad or hurt) are also okay but must be followed with a stern look and an obligatory comment about how those are adult words and not for kids.
But, my all-time personal favorite curse word is Asshat. I really feel that it has the appropriate level of funny, mixed with just a touch of crude. Asshat, in my vocabulary, is super versatile and can be used in almost any bad behaviour context. For example: “Honey, stop being such as Asshat and get that Barbie doll’s hand out of your sister’s nose” or “Did you see what a total Asshat that guy driving in front of us is being? What a D-canoe”.
I must have used that word at least twice a day for years until one day I came downstairs and caught my eldest sternly lecturing her baby sister at the dinner table about how she was being a total Asshat for not eating her Cheerios. When I tried to intervene and calmly explain that Asshat was a word only for adults, I got the following response: “Dad…what do you want from me? She was being a total Asshat.” In the meantime, my middle daughter (2 at the time) was dancing around in a circle in the background singing the Asshat Song she had just made up.
It goes something like this:
Asshat, Asshat, Asshat,
Asshat, Asshat, Asshat
Asshat, Asshat, Asshat (giggle, giggle)
I kind of hate to admit it, but the song was catchy and my eldest was right, the baby was being a total Asshat. I would like to say it was a super parenting moment and either I scolded them or taught them some wondrous lesson about respecting others, blah, blah, blah, but truth be told, I laughed my ass off and tell this same story all the time to other parents.
Bottom line, am I going to stop swearing even if it’s just in front of the kids? Nope.
Am I at least going to tone it down when they are around? I doubt it, but I will commit to continuing to keep it to the PG level and I'm patiently waiting to see when they will drop the A-bomb next.