Saturday, October 9


There aren't many things in this world that I love, aside from my family (dog included until he pees on something). I'm one of those people that tends to have a better grasp of what I don't like, because I'm so super upbeat and positive. So when I find something that I actually do like, it must be pretty important. Things like Chick-O-Sticks, the color black and profanity. I really, really love to swear. Like, a lot.

Maybe this is why my Mom tells me that when I talk I sound like "a sailor on leave." She's got a point. I curse so fucking often that I hardly realize that I'm fucking doing it. I've tried ways to avoid it, like substituting letters for words, ie "what the f," and my own acronyms, like "fofer"(fuck of fucker). But try as I might, I still wind up using 'fucking' as a adjective.

Growing up there was never a whole lot of cursing in my house. Sure, there would be a "shit" here and there, but nothing major. My Mom took a philosophical approach to profanity. She simply told me that when I knew what it meant, I could say it (this after a cringe inducing conversation about correct use of the word dildo). What she didn't know was that one day at school my teacher went off on a tangent, apparently appalled by the language overheard in the hallways, "one word in particular."

We all knew what word it was, but that didn't stop us from trying to get her to say it. After awhile, she kind of blushed and said "well I'm not going to say it, but it means for unlawful carnal knowledge." I thought "woo hoo! This is what I had been waiting for!" For the first time ever, I'd actually learned something useful in school. That night when I regaled my Mom with my awesome new found knowledge, she rolled her eyes and said "just don't say it around your Grandparent's." Oh, you know I did.

And, contrary to my Grandmother's prediction, I did find someone to marry me even though I had a potty mouth and didn't know how to keep a respectable house. To tell the truth, Mark is much, much worse that I am. Once we had Piper, we kept meaning to clean up our language around the house, it was something that kept meaning to do, like cleaning out the garage, but just never got around to it. At first it was because she was too little to understand what we were saying, then we just kind of figured that she wasn't really listening. Oh, she was listening.

Her first F Bomb came one night when we had rented the John Travolta animated extravaganza Bolt. She was supposed to be able to watch it after her bath, but that had gone horribly awry and I'm pretty sure that it ended with us both in tears. As I dried her off and wrangled her into her pajamas, the verbal assault never stopped until I handed her off to Mark and said "just take her in the living room and watch fucking Bolt." Without a beat, through tears, Piper sniffed "I don't want to watch fucking Bolt..." Yeah, I felt kinda bad about that one.

Then there was the day we were loading her into the car when she started screaming "Goddammit!" I'm still not really sure what brought on this bout of tourette's, because it kinda came out of nowhere. We decided that our best course of action was to ignore it, but that totally didn't work. So we drove all the way to Grandma's house with a two year old screaming "Goddammit" intermittently in the back seat. I was just glad that it was winter and we had to ride with the windows rolled up. After all, you don't want to share your fine parenting skills with everyone.

I think that we all remember the "you fuck you" recent portion of our program, and I'm glad to say that we've moved a step beyond all of that. Piper is in pre, pre-school, where they learn stuff, they have circle time and they sing songs. We often enjoy our mornings with renditions of "Old McDonald," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and my personal favorite "Shake Your Booty..." I'm still not 100% sure that it's actually the KC & The Sunshine Band version. She basically sticks her butt out and sings "shake your booooooty..." while, in fact shaking said booty (what makes it more adorable/disturbing is that she mainly does it when naked). When I asked her where she learned that song, she told me her teacher, but I feel pretty confident that that's a lie.

So along with traditional children's rhymes and 70s era disco hits, I think she's got a decent song repertoire. One of her new favorites is the time honored classic "Muffin Man." Which if you are like me, you remember best from the scene in Jaws, where Sean is making a sandcastle singing "do you know the muffin man" just as the shark sends his brother to the hospital in shock to await his coffee ice cream (gross, what kid liked coffee ice cream?) and his cars.

For a couple days we heard "do you know the muffin man..." all over the house. Then she started to improvise with Tanner's name, "do you know the Tan man..." so sweet it made my teeth hurt. Then, two nights ago she was again ad libbing with the Muffin Man and I caught something in her version that I'm pretty sure she didn't learn in circle time. When Mark and I asked her to clarify what she'd just said, her response was, "nuffin." Finally, when the heat died down a little, she began to sing: "do you know the fucter man, the fucter man..." I was so caught off guard that my first response was to laugh. But then I remembered that I was supposed to be the parent and I got very stern and said, "where did you hear that?" Piper turned away from me and said "well, I didn't hear it on TV."

How I wish we could blame it on TV. The reality is that we've dropped the ball apparently along with the F-bomb, S-bomb and many others. The last thing that I want is to be the parent of that kid. You know, the one that teaches all the other kids about dirty words and the facts of life. I think that all this means is that I have to start being a better parent to that kid.

We're trying hard to change our language although it is a really, really hard thing to do when you've been fucking talking like this for fucking twenty years and it's totally fucking subconscious by now. I think that we are on the right track and who knows, maybe we'll become better parents in this particular arena. We have to. Because tonight as I was emptying the dishwasher, Piper was counting the cups for me, "fucter 1, fucter 2..."