I have a potty mouth, and while some people think that’s low class, to me it’s just second nature. My dad was raised in a Brooklyn housing project and he cursed so much that by the time I was a teen, I was swearing to express everything from happiness to anger to what I wanted for lunch. And I never really thought about it. Until I had kids.
Once there were babies around me, I toned it all the way down. For years I substituted obscenities with silly words like “fudge” and “shut the front door” and lots of loud groans. I was on a mission to be the perfect mother, and having my impressionable toddler drop F-bombs at the park didn’t fit that goal. But the more kids I had and the older they got, the harder it was for me not to curse. And once I started using bad words again, I never turned back.
But my kids are not allowed to curse. If they even try I go f**king crazy. You might think that’s really hypocritical but sorry, not sorry. I won’t allow my kids to curse but I don’t plan on stopping. And here’s why:
It let’s them know I’m serious: When children are really young, a stern look and a pointed finger work fine, but when your nine-year-old is about to body slam his little brother, a polite request doesn’t cut it. “Don’t you f**king dare”… now that does the trick. When my kids are attacking each other in the back seat of the car, my swinging arm does nothing, but “I’ll pull this f**king car over” usually works like a charm. After several calm requests, “Get in the f**king shower,” and “Do your f**king homework,” is the only way sh*t gets done in my house! So really, I don’t have a choice.
It makes me feel better: By the 25th time my kid spills Froot Loops and milk all over my kitchen floor, I kind of need that release. If I’m getting on my hands and knees with a roll of paper towels, letting out a loud F**K just makes me feel a little calmer. When I’m frustrated because my six-year-old has been chewing a piece of chicken for 14 minutes and refuses to swallow, a little curse helps the process move along faster. I’m doing everyone a favor.
I’ve already given up a lot: I knew that becoming a parent meant sacrifices, but I mean COME ON. I’ve given up so much already, like sleep, a taut stomach, a car I enjoy driving, relaxing weekends, wearing a bathing suit, rated R movies, personal space, my bank account, my car radio, etc. A lot of those things, I had no choice but to give up (see, for example, my minivan). But I have a choice whether or not to curse. So I’m choosing #*^!*.
But I don’t want to be totally unfair to my kids, who have to keep it clean while I swear up a storm, so here’s the deal I’m prepared to offer: Kids, while you are under my roof I will clothe you, feed you, drive you and pay for you, and in exchange, you can’t curse. Do we have a deal?
Good. ‘Cause you have no f**king choice.