When you have kids, certain lifestyle changes are inevitable: your spending habits, career, priorities, even the car you drive - they change. And the way you speak. At some point you realize that the child staring at you is actually beginning to understand the words, or at least the sound of them, and that you can no longer get away with saying whatever you like. And so you begin to watch what you say around them, especially when they're in the repeat-everything phase.
That's where we're at. I have to be really careful about what I say in front of Matthew. He's like a mini echo machine. The other day I caught myself just as I was about to curse at the milk that went flying all over the kitchen floor. "Shh....ooot" I said, realizing my little friend was lurking behind me.
"Shooooo" he repeated, delighted with himself for mimicking the word mommy said.
Every day he's saying new words, learning how to craft the sound and the intonation. Beginning to put little sentences together. So I'm very aware that every syllable that leaves my mouth has the potential to end up in his.
I'm not a big swearer, but there are certain occasions where only a swear word will do. Like when you accidentally shut your finger in a door. Or someone pulls out in front of your car causing you to slam on the breaks. Or when the dog walks mud all through the house.
The thing is, these events still happen when you have kids. So what do you do? Do you have alternatives that you can pull out at the drop of a hat? Like, oh flippedy flip I forgot to call my sister on her birthday..? Or holy cracadoo that's a nice sweater..? Or that guy is a real twazzle..?
Okay I seriously can't do the ridiculous Ned Flanders words, but I do need to find some alternatives. I can't force myself to say things like fratteratterpeggaloomer, which Urban Dictionary threw up when I googled "swear word alternative". Fratterwhat? Yeah... don't see myself using that one somehow. I may be a cautious parent but I don't want to sound like a total %^&#@$^.
What do you do in these circumstances? For $%$# sake please share.