Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Swear words for parents

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.
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..... Carmen said...

I find I say "Oh shoot" alot. And Grace likes to say "Oh dear". So somewhere along the way that was obviously one of my lines. But, there have been times when I'm surprised, and the words just come. And I find her repeating me "Oh crap" But I ignore her and it stops rather quickly.

Loukia said...

Shoot is big in our house. I have said the f word a few too many times by total accident in front of my oldest son - and he has repeated it. It's horrible! The first time I heard him say it, he was laughing, and I was like 'OMG NEVER SAY THAT AGAIN IT IS A BAD WORD!' But I think the best approach, which I tried the other few times I have heard him swear is to ignore him and he'll stop and hopefully forget the word!

Metropolitan Mum said...

Oh dear. This is a tricky one, definitely. Little L is only 11 weeks old, but I vowed to stop swearing as soon as she entered our life. Sometimes I find myself exploding with a wave of swearwords which I accumulated during the day, when she is in bed. My husband looked at me a bit estranged at first, but he got used to it.
Flippedy flop??? That makes you look like a complete nutter, or as if you were from another time, haha.

Paging Doctor Mommy said...

I still slip and say some pretty harsh ones, but we've picked up some good ones from Reagan's favorite shows. And for some reason, they all seem to associate with food. "Pickles!" "Cherry Pits!" "Sugar!"
I'm not sure what each one is really substituted for, but my husband and I both catch ourselves saying them now!

Paging Doctor Mommy said...

You've got an award on my blog!

James (SeattleDad) said...

"For $%$# sake please share"

That one has me laughinig. I have actually cleaned up my act enough that it hasn't bee an issue yet. Crap is my biggest offense and I haven't dropped the C bomb in front of Lukas yet.

Canadian Bald Guy said...

I find myself cursing more as I've grown I'm certainly taking an interest in your comments. :-)

Mammatalk said...

Not to push my blog, of my favorite posts is about this very topic.

I wrote it back in Nov. It's gotten worse!

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I've said "fiddlesticks" after stubbing a toe before. It took a lot of restraint. WonderWife™ was like, "really dude, fiddlesticks?"