“Every f**king time, Mummy.”

Two years ago, if you’d asked me whether I ever swore in front of my kid, I would have said no. I didn’t swear much at all – at least not out loud. I had nothing against profanity; it just didn’t feel genuine coming out of my mouth, so I mostly abstained.

Then I had a second child. And postpartum depression, which came with some pretty dark times. It turns out that during times of trial, my inner self swears like a long-haul trucker who’s just dropped a cement block on his toe. And sometimes, despite my desperate attempts to maintain control, that inner monologue came out into the world.

Up until Monkey was three or four months old, the only way I could get him to nap for more than 20 minutes at a time was to take him for a walk in the Ergo carrier. This period of time coincided with a particularly terrible two year-old phase for Bean. Leaving the house was necessary for my sanity, but getting Bean out the door was like pulling teeth. Without anesthetic. The battle would begin over getting dressed and continue through coming downstairs, coming to the door, sitting still to put shoes on, getting in the stroller, and every other tiny step that made it possible to leave home. During the typical hour of painful negotiation, Monkey’s wails would grow louder, Bean would grow more defiant, and my already-weak grasp on self-control would slip. On one occasion, I muttered under my breath (okay, probably more over breath than under), “Every fucking time.”

I knew that I should stop swearing in front of Bean; I knew that it would catch up with me someday and he would repeat what I’d said. Everyone would know he was copying me, because my husband never swears. Every time I let an f-bomb slip I would feel guilty and ashamed, and wait for the inevitable repetition from my toddler… and every time I dodged the bullet. He didn’t seem to notice.

Until that day. As we walked down our street with Bean finally in the stroller and Monkey snuggled happily against my chest, Bean sang loudly, “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.”

Oh fuck.

“What’s that, Bean? Duck, duck, duck?”

“Yeah, duck, duck, fuck.”

“Duck?”

“Duck.”

At that moment I vowed I would never swear in front of the kids again, and I’ve mostly been successful in keeping that vow. After our walk, Bean seemed to have forgotten about his new word. I listened for it for the next few days, and finally breathed a sigh of relief.

Later that week as I put Bean to bed and went through the usual dance of please-one-more-song-no-I’ve-sung-all-the-songs-what-about-rockabye-no-I’ve-sung-that-already-what-about-lullaby-no-it’s-time-to-go-to-sleep, Bean looked up at me, shook his head slightly, and said softly, “Every fucking time, Mummy. Every fucking time.”

Please, tell me I’m not alone – have your kids repeated anything you didn’t want them to hear? What did you do?

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18 thoughts on ““Every f**king time, Mummy.”

  1. Hahaha!
    I mean, er, oh dear.
    My 2 year old has said, “Oh, for fuck’s sake,” several times, in the right context. Fortunately, I was the only adult in the vicinity (I was also the adult who he picked that up from, ahem).
    Stopping by from NaBloPoMo.

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  2. Oh, that was hilarious! I’ve actually become a worse potty-mouth since having kids than I ever was in my previous life. Must be to do with me being more tense or getting less sleep or something (just to take a wild stab in the dark). But I’m pretty good about curbing my language around my children.

    Around other people’s children? Turns out not so much. I’m a shocker for dropping f-bombs on my friends’ kids over speakerphone in the car (sorry kids), or for just not registering their presence if I happen to be ‘off the clock’ and adding a variety of colourful words to their vocabularies. The closest I’ve had to swearing here is my then 3-year-old muttering ‘Oh, for crying out loud…’ in moments of frustration. Pretty PG-rated, really!

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    • You’d think motherhood would teach us to use “nice” language… glad I’m not the only one experiencing the opposite! Kudos to you for managing to button it in front of your own kids. 🙂

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  3. I have always had a bit of a mouth on me but I controlled it better once my kids cam along

    I told my friend with no kids that the day before I got so mad that I went into the garage and yelled “f***, f***, f***” while hitting the wall in perfect unison. She was shocked… the F-word not being one I use often… that I felt the deep need to do this.

    Rewind 4 years when she had kids… (ring ring) “I just went into the garage and yelled… f***, f***, f***”

    It’s okay mama… it happens to the best of us!!!

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  5. I have to admit I laughed out loud for that. The context was perfect for it!

    My kids are older now and so when I let the f-bomb slip I get shaking heads and “you shouldn’t say cuss words, Mom”. So don’t worry, he’ll get to the age where chastising you for them is more fun than saying them himself.

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    • They always get it in the right context! That’s what makes it so funny.

      You just reminded me of the first time my brothers and I ever heard my mum swear. We were probably in our twenties and all four of us were over for brunch. Mum said “shit” in front of three of us (I can’t remember why); first there was silence, then everyone started adding “shit” to every sentence just to bug her. I don’t think any of us had ever sworn in front of her before! She was so embarrassed. The other brother who hadn’t heard her say it walked into the room and heard us. First he looked confused, then said, “Oh cool! Mum said shit?”

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  6. Oh yes, it is bound to happen! One night I had a particularly hard time with my oldest (he was 3 or 4 at the time). As I put him to bed I let out, “why do you have to piss me off so much?” “Because I love to piss you off.” was his reply. It was hard not to laugh. I wonder if I blogged about that before. hehe!

    Dropping in from NaBloPoMo (the link post up).

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  8. I was telling my husband a story when my 8yo chimed in, “and then did you say, ‘What the hell?'” We were so shocked. Mostly we just tried hard not to laugh and said she oughtn’t say that. Clearly, neither should we! At least not when she’s in earshot!

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