In recent years, I’ve given up a lot of things that are bad for me. Vodka is no longer part of this balanced breakfast. Cigarette smoke nauseates me. Flings with emotionally manipulative commitmentphobes would probably put a serious damper on my marriage. With the exception of watching the Spongebob trailer and wishing that it had come out at a time when I partook of the odd hallucinogenic substance, I’ve pretty much moved on from most of my truly bad habits.
The swearing? Not so much.
I can tone it down in small bursts if I really need to. No elderly person has never heard me say anything stronger than “Heavens to Betsy!” and I managed to refrain from using the F-word in my wedding ceremony even once. In daily life, however, the air around me is often as blue as the liquid they use in pad commercials. (I don’t know why they use blue, but make no mistake, if I started menstruating antifreeze, you can bet they’d hear the swearing for miles.)
You can probably guess that this presents a problem with my daughter. At almost four months old, her babbles haven’t produced anything like a word, but the threat looms large of one day receiving the call from daycare about my kid telling some other poor innocent tyke not to be such a fucking shitlord at circle time. Even if said tyke is being a fucking shitlord, I can’t have that. My late grandmother’s skeleton would spin so fast it would drill to the earth’s core and destroy us all.
I have to do better.
To do this, I have to recognize the situations that trigger me to be my very worst. Let me think.
This is not so bad. I can manage most basic dishes with only the barest of muttered threats. Keep the volume low, avoid pastry at all costs, and we’re golden.
Depends highly on the injury. A paper cut barely rates a “shit” while a stubbed toe can push us into R-rated territory fast. Let’s give me the benefit of the doubt and go with a solid 2.5 with the possibility of up to 4. Extenuating circumstances, though, right? Even the most judgmental mommy group could probably give me a pass for things said when stepping on a Lego or Littlest Pet Shop. I managed childbirth without an epidural but I have my limits.
This is where we run into real trouble. I cannot stop driving places with my child, and neither can I stop yelling at all the stupid dicktrumpets on the road. Pulling up to my bumper and honking at me at a red light is likely to make me envision pulling your urethra out and garotting you with it. This town is full of men who are compensating for their easily bruised sense of masculinity with giant lifted Dodge Thundercock 8000 trucks that are wild and free and cannot be contained in a single lane or parking space. There has not been a day of my residence here where I haven’t used the phrase “entitled fuckshoe” or “shit-for-retinas assbaskets” in a parking lot. The fact that I’ve been driving for thirteen years and have somehow maintained a clean criminal record is nothing short of an actual miracle.
Better start preparing for the call from the school now. Fuck.
“No, honey, Mommy doesn’t know how to play Crazy Eights.”
“I’m sorry, sweetheart, Mommy has a lifetime ban on playing Monopoly.”
“You go ahead and play Mario Kart with Daddy, pumpkin. Mommy got excommunicated from the Catholic church last time.”
Perfect. Well-adjusted childhood, here we co–
“Mama, look! Caillou is on!”