Yesterday, I punished my firstborn child for swearing.
(Here is where every reader who has ever cringed at or suggested I curb my horrible language and penchant for the f-word lets out a well-deserved cackle.)
He said the word...hell.
(Here is where every other reader who could not give a flying fuck about my fucking language and who appreciates a good mastery of creative fucking obscenities also lets out a cackle, followed by a sigh and a YOU USED TO BE COOL, MAN.)
But yeah. Noah told Ezra to "get the hell out" of the bathroom. Twice!
Which, on the one hand: SERIOUSLY. HE WAS GOING. GET THE HELL OUT OF THE BATHROOM, EZRA.
But on the other hand: I heard it the first time and sternly reminded him that no, you do not talk to your brother using that kind of language, even though I COMPLETELY feel you, dude. I told Ezra to give Noah his privacy but was still within earshot when Noah repeated the slightly PG-rated command.
God fucking dammit, kid. Why you gotta make me give you shit?
I felt like a huge, self-aware tool as I sent him to his room and waited outside just long enough to let the YOU'RE IN TROUBLE NOW, CHILD, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A TALK sense of dread build a little bit. (Oh yes, that's how I roll.) And then we talked about That Word and why we don't use That Word Like That, especially at school or in front of his little brothers or other adults and blah blah disrespectfulcakes. Manners! Upbringing! Show the nice people that you weren't (entirely) raised by a pack of incompetent savages!
For the record, I actually think I'm pretty good at watching my language around the kids. At least compared to the potty-mouth I chose to procreate with, who is incapable of driving from point A to point B without letting a few choice words fly at That Fucking Idiot Asshole Over There, What The Hell Is He Doing, Jesus Christ. I've certainly had...moments, though, where I've caught myself a second too late and had to add a bunch of nonsense blibble flabble sounds to distract from the staccato'd motherfuck..uh...duck..uh...er that I accidentally let fly.
And yes, as curse words go, "get the hell out" is pretty low on the ratings scale, and could have easily been picked up from a wide number of sources, including movies and TV shows we've possibly deemed appropriate for him before noticing all the hells and damns peppered throughout. THOUGH AGAIN, JASON IS WORSE! JASON IS WORSE! He is the slowest remote-grabber in the world when watching something wildly inappropriate for children and will sit there engrossed in like, Showgirls or something for entire MINUTES before noticing that Ezra is standing there, grinning and pointing and saying, "Heh. Butt."
(That is actually a true story.)
Though speaking of Ezra, he once thoroughly impressed me when, as a still-fairly-new talker, he dropped a toy on the floor and let out a perfectly-placed OH SHIT.
As hilarious as it was (note: FUCKING HILARIOUS), that was the moment when I realized how spoiled Noah's initial speech delay and refusal to mimic anything had made us. Noah never repeated anything we said! So we never had to worry! And now we did! It was like...as if...how does that saying go? SHIT JUST GOT REAL Y'ALL.
But yesterday marked the first time any of my children deliberately, knowingly swore (at least in my presence, anyway) and I hope I did not bungle it too badly. I didn't want to make a huge deal out of it but also do not want to get regular calls from the principal's office or his friends' parents...so, sorry, kiddo. You're gonna have to do what your mother did and watch that mouth until you get a summer job in high school, where you will learn all sorts of delightful new words and combinations in the employee breakroom, and you will revel in the freedom to weave them into a colorful tapestry of adolescent offensiveness on a daily basis.
And then hopefully we can have a laugh over that time I sent you to your room for telling your brother to get the hell out of the bathroom. God, what a bitch I was sometimes, right? LOL.