"What the fuck." Can't say that anymore. Not in front of the kids. I find myself saying "What the fffff" a lot these days. Catching my indiscretion before it has a chance to be completely enunciated. Or "That's bullshhhhhh" which enables me to express myself a little more but doesn't open the door to hearing a two year old repeat the word "bullshit" over and over.
I often wonder what other parents do to combat the uttering of swear words. But what I'm finding is that they don't try at all. Like recently we were at a brunch spot in Hollywood. Quiet little rustic joint tucked away off the busy streets. And like most parents, we arrived earlier than the sleepy hipster crowd because the kids rarely let us sleep in past 8 am on weekends.
We ask for a table at the far end of the restaurant, next to another family, maybe to help keep the kid noise contained to one side of their establishment. The family next to us has three kids ranging in age from around 4 to 9 years old. Their table is more lively than ours for that very reason. Our kids looked like silent little angels in comparison.
Lily and I were perusing the menu trying to figure out what Judah and Blaise would eat, when one of the younger kids at the table next to us fell over in her chair and started wailing. I quickly turned to see if the kid was pinned under the chair or something (she wasn't), and her mom snapped out of her very animated conversation, and after what seemed like slow-motion eternity, she turned toward the kid and shouted "WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!!!" Yeah. Yelled that before making any semblance of a move to pick up the child.
Eventually she did lift her child from the floor and give her a big hug, scolding the girl for playing around in the chair, but in a soft tone without any phrases like "Honey, why the fuck did you do that shit?" And later the mom apologized to Lily for swearing in front of the kids. Only to open up the four-letter vocabulary once again in her animated conversation with her adult friend.
Luckily I haven't heard Blase or Judah repeat the F-word since that day. But I have to wonder why I bother trying to clean up my language if the rest of the world isn't doing the same. What the fuck.