Sunday, September 1, 2013

mothering sound byte: toddler f-bombing

the boy has discovered swearing. well, he's been dropping the f-bomb for a long time now, since his first pre-school stint. but it's only lately that he's been saying the f-word with any regularity in its proper context - usually following some sort of denied request: candy, screen time, outside play, etc. 

i used to love to swear. once upon a time it was my favourite sort of rebellion. i swore not so much because it was cool but because it empowered me to be emphatic about my individuality. i've curbed my penchant for vulgar hyperboles since motherhood. but in all sincerity - and this may be controversial, i think nothing of swearing. 

swearing is not a parenting hill for me to die on. i refuse to be a hypocrite about the use of such language as a form of expression - especially because momma-the-hulk often can't control herself (rather reguarly). so when the boy began singing "aw man f*ck it" over and over again, i stifled a giggle and proclaimed that such language should be confined within the walls of our home and it is not appropriate to use the f-word in public. which worked for a bit. the point is to know when it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate to swear, after all. 

more recently though, the boy has been pushing the limits of my proclamation to confine swearing for home use only, using the f-word at nearly every turn. so i started a game. that instead of saying "oh f*ck" we could use funny words and things. i offered, "oh fudge!" and the boy agreed, after just a little coercing that this was, indeed, funny. he countered with "oh peanut butter sandwiches!" to which i responded with, "oh gummy bears!" in fits of laughter, he called out "oh wormy!" which stopped me in my tracks and without missing a beat, the boy points at me triumphant, "i beat you!" back and forth this repartee went and such fun we've been having. 

the boy and i have been beaming with pride ever since. me, for my oh so clever parenting win. the boy, because he's found that there are many ways he can express his displeasure and disappointment without also getting in trouble. "mama! did you hear me? i said 'oh apple pie' and 'not oh f*ck!'" we take what we can get.

the other day, the kids were having a snack when the boy decided it was time to play again:

the boy: can we have chocolate cake now? 
me: no, we're saving it for dinner with our friends, remember? 
the boy:  oh swiper!
me: oh peanut butter sandwiches with turkeys on top!
the boy: oh gummy wormies with fudge!
me: that was a good one!
the girl (who'd been giggling with us all along): oh f*ck.
me: [doubled over, laughing, crying]
the boy: she beat you!
me: [tears in my eyes, shaking my head]

oh parenting fail.


  1. Not parenting fail at all! You turned it into something positive, with laughter instead of anger. You're such a good mother.

    1. ha. there is quite enough anger that happens in this toddler world. too much, in my opinion, still. but its definitely something i'm working on. and you've known my trucker mouth a long time. this isn't something i can get angry about.


  2. This is so great! I'm glad my mom sent me your link!

    I like knowing I'm not the only one dropping f-bombs around the kids :)

    1. ha! your mom is so awesome! i got to meet her next week. i have been enjoying your blog as well. too often what i see online are the ideals - it's nice to have some solidarity around the moments when we are less than perfect so that we can keep moving forward. :)

    2. i mean, i got to meet your mom last week. and hug her too! that was cool.