Responsible Cursing

My husband and I made the collective decision to not stop cursing when my son was born. We gave up so much for that child. We were not going to give up this too! I gave up cheese for a year for f^(#’s sake!

Do I make Kermit the Frog’s face when my two-year-old parrots back an adult word… yes. Yes I do.

kermit face

But do I stop using that word? I do not.

The thing is, cursing relieves stress. It causes a physical and chemical reaction to take place in your brain, which leads to happy feelings. In the wise words of Elle Woods, happy people just do not kill their husbands. Or children. This is for his protection, really.

Cursing is more wildly accepted these days. While the F-bomb might not be said out loud on day time TV, my very professional work environment uses damn and hell like they are please and thank you. Those are hardly considered curse words any more! The world is a-changing.

Cillian is going to hear such words anyway and when he does, I do not want them to have the allure of the taboo. Like any words, I want C to know and understand how to use curse words appropriately. Often times people swear in front of my child (or even me) and apologize for it. While I appreciate the gesture, I always tell them it is fine and he hears worse at home. Mama might have the mouth of a sailor… My apologies to my parents. This is not your fault.

I do not mind when my son hears some grown baseball players laughing and cutting up with colorful language. In fact, it would bother me more if my impressionable toddler heard an adult call another adult stupid. Or if he heard my husband disrespect his mother in some way. Those things are always inappropriate and, as Cillian says, not nice. I would much rather my son curse when he stubs his toe than hear him be ugly to another human being.

Like everything else, we have rules for cussing.

  1. Do not piss off any members of the Deity.
  2. Do not cuss at anyone. Especially not your mother.
  3. Do not use derogatory words towards or in reference to anyone. Ever.
  4. Just don’t be gross.

I want my son to know what a curse word is, and how to use them appropriately to avoid scenarios like this:

A seventeen-year-old girl sat in English class, her favorite subject, as the teacher went over the week’s vocabulary words. On this list was the word pusillanimous. For those of you who do not know or have no access to Google, pusillanimous means scared or cowardly. Well, this poor, young, naive thing, being quite outspoken, in the middle of her very conservative Christian school classroom, without even raising her hand, said “That makes sense. That is why you call someone who is scared a pussy.”

That girls was me.

Everyone snickered and the teacher froze, blushing. I legitimately had no idea why what I had said got this reaction. I had no idea that word was a bad word! While I was, in fact correct and the word pussy (as in a pussy cat, or a scared-y-cat, or a wimp) was slag for pusillanimous and at one time did not refer to women’s genitals as all, I was also embarrassed to be a senior in high school who did not know such a thing, even if just to avoid having said what I did. I am just lucky the teacher believed I did not know what I was saying, or I would have tarnished my otherwise perfect record with a trip to the principal’s office.

Read ‘s thoughts on the matter, shared by Scary Mommy

Do I want my sweet, angel-faced baby boy cursing at the tender age of two? Well, no. So until he is a little bit older, I am attempting to tame my tongue. Attempting. But I also do not use silly euphemisms to replace stronger words. If the situation called for an expression of frustration, it gets one. I am just reminding myself that four letter words are not appropriate forms of punctuation.

*Please ignore the SnapChat grammatical error*

Curse words, like everything else C will learn as he grows, have a time and a place. We go pee in the potty. We only suck our thumb in bed. We do not wear shoes on the couch. We do not use those words at Nanny’s house. But in the car is perfectly fine. Even at two years old, C is learning about the appropriateness of things.

His words will be no different.


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