A man is driving his five year old to a friend’s house when another car races in front and cuts them off, nearly causing an accident. "Fucking douchebag!" the father yells. A moment later he realizes the indiscretion, pulls over, and turns to face his son. "Your father just said a bad word," he says. "I was angry at that driver, but that was no excuse for what I said. It was wrong. But just because I said it, it doesn’t make it right, and I don’t ever want to hear you saying it. Is that clear?" His son looks at him and says: "Too late, douchebag."
I hate to admit it but I like to swear. Not only do I like to swear but I think I'm pretty fucking good at it. You see, I've always thought there was a certain poetry in being able to swear properly. Sure, anyone can say curse words but it takes a true artisan to swear properly. It involves a fine understanding of syntax, structure, and iambic pentameter. The difference between cursing and swearing as an art form is like the difference between Yoda and Yeats. (Speaking of Yeats...when asked once what he thought of poets who could not write properly, he candidly wrote, "was there ever a dog that praised its fleas?" And again, that's what I think of people who don't swear properly. If you can't do it right, don't do it at all.)
Why am I bringing this up? Because now that we have a young and impressionable 8-month old daughter living in our midst, I've got to learn to swear less like a sailor and more like a choir boy. As most of you know, I like to talk to my daughter non-stop. We spend hours and hours having one-sided conversations. Not only do I think that this will help her speech development but also it makes me feel less crazy to know that I'm actually talking to someone besides myself. So this morning, as we're getting ready to go to daycare, I turned to my little Peanut and cooed, "You ready to go, baby? You got your little hat on? 'Cause it's hot as a motherfucking bitch out there today!"
Once I was done shocking the shit out of my wife, the BossLady turned to me and screamed, "DO NOT TALK LIKE THAT IN FRONT OF OUR DAUGHTER!"
Really, no follow-up spousal lecturing was needed. I knew that what I'd said was COMPLETELY wrong and that I was going to have to seriously curb my language in front of my lovely young daughter. After all, I do want her to grow up and become an upstanding and gentle young lady. So I swore to my wife that I would rein in the foul language while at home. And certainly, I'd make the best effort to never curse in front of the Peanut again.
But then I started envisioning what would happen if I continued swearing. And then my overactive imagination started envisioning different scenarios where certain phrases might come out of the Peanut's mouth as soon as she learned how to speak. Like what, you may ask?
First, I pictured her talking to the nanny....
"Hey, Shitwitch! How about getting your fat ass off the motherfucking couch and doing a little turnover on these fucking Pampers? This motherfucking diaper's filled to the rim with Brim."
Then, I pictured her talking to my parents...
"Yo, Grandma Moses. I know we're fucking related and all but do I have to see you ass-clowns every motherfucking weekend? And while we're on the subject, I know I'm pretty fucking cute but can you please wipe that shit-eating grin off your fucking face?"
Of course, the evil madman in me thinks these scenarios would be semi-hilarious. But in reality, I know better. And I sincerely do want to stop swearing in front of her. It wasn't how I was raised and it's not how I want to raise my daughter either. It's just hard to remember because of the fact that she doesn't speak. So sometimes I'll be talking to the BossLady and forget that the Peanunt can overhear us. And next thing you know, I'm cursing like a sailor again. But I'm going to try harder from now on. I swear. On a fucking motherfucking stack of bibles. Oops!
Shit. This is going to take some fucking time.