It's a frakin (sorry Nipper) miracle that Jack's first word wasn't a curse. For those of you with sensitivities to this kind of language, you can exit the room while we discuss. My mother swore like a sailor, my dad has been known to drop an occasional and effective expletive when necessary, and both Nipper and I sprinkle the majority of our conversations regardless of company with, let's call it, a liberal dose of the f word.
I love it. It's so satisfying when you are angry, and so descriptive when at a loss for words. Someone once said to me that only uneducated people use profanity. As close as I can calculate my education starting in the 7th grade, when I went to prep school, followed by boarding school, followed by a private university, excluding the cost of my parents moving to a better school district in elementary so I could attend a public school, cost somewhere close to $150,000. So whoever that person was who said that can go fuck themselves because they're wrong. I'm plenty educated and I love to curse.
When Jack was born there was no slow down in our use of profanity. As a matter of fact, I'm sure we cursed more in those early months. Fuck I'm tired. Damnit, we're almost out of diapers. That Santa Monica mom's group is filled with Assholes, Shit, and Oh My God Holy Shit. As he got older and his brainy little girlfriends started talking, I had to force myself to curb my enthusiasm for cursing while they were around. It's one thing to pepper your kid with bad language, quite another to tell the kid next door that you're "all out of milk, for fuck's sake". Nipper, who I'm pretty sure actually swears more than me, but only by a hair, is REALLY good about remembering not to swear in front of other people's kids. I'm always saying really inappropriate things just as some toddler ambles into frame. Nipper glares at me and says "way to go mom".
That Jack is now talking, and more recently repeating everything we say, combined with the fact that we just saw "The Fantastic Mr. Fox", we've been trying to say the word "cuss" in place for our usual oaths. It's not as satisfying, but it amuses us to say "well why the cuss would she do that?" and "cuss this stupid salad spinner".
Which leads me to our parenting triumph this weekend when Jack uttered his very first curse (sort of). The fact that it was Nipper's fault (sort of) is of unimaginable satisfaction to me, ye of the the foul mouth. We're in the living room Saturday night watching the movie "Cars". Jack and I had "worked" that morning, and he had been such a good boy, and we were so proud of him for not being one of those kids who FREAKS out, even though, someday, I'm sure he's going to, that we took him to buy a dinoco helicopter toy that afternoon. That's right, I said it, we rewarded our TWO year old for working by buying him a Disney toy. Someone shoot me and call Jon Benet Ramsey, we are terrorists! It's not like we offered him blow and Drew Barrymore's number. But still...
So that night before bed he wanted to watch "Cars", and we oblige, because we do every single thing he says. It's like we are Basic and he is a keyboard. The part of the movie where James Taylor sings about small towns comes on, and Jack asks "who's singing this song" and Nipper says "some d-bag" and Jack immediately says "what that d-bag can do?"
First we died. Then we looked at each other hands over mouths so as not to let him know that what he had just said was both horrifying and hilarious. Did Nipper think that by removing the word douche it was no longer an inappropriate thing to say in front of a two year old? Douche after all is SUCH a forbidden word, whilst bag is so very common.
A friend of ours whose kids are now tweens told us a story about his son swearing in his third grade classroom. Apparently he passed a note across his desk to the little girl sitting on the other side that said "fuck is your name". When he got home from school his dad told him that if he swore in school everyone was going to be very upset and that he would be in trouble. Then for the following few months, every time he and his wife got angry with each other or just for no reason at all they'd say to each other "fuck is your name".
I wonder what poor dead William Safire would have to say about all of this?