This likely isn’t going to come as a surprise to some, but I have a confession to make. I have a potty mouth. It’s something that I strive to control, and can pretty effectively hide it when I need to, but once I get started I swear like a trucker. This only really became a problem after Woo was born and started to echo the things that we said.
When I was on maternity leave there were large chunks of the day where I had two choices, I could talk to Woo, or I could talk to myself. While I did talk to Woo a tonne, I often wanted a response and could only get that from myself. The more I talked, the more I realized that I didn’t need a filter. My days were coloured with many an expletive. This went on for about six months, until our early talker’s babbles became words and he added new ones every day. We instituted the swear jar, where everyone had to add a dollar for every curse made in the presence of the lil one and two dollars for any word that Woo repeated (each time it was repeated).* I added one hundred and twenty dollars to Woo’s piggy bank in the first week. Thankfully I got better, but not before I had added over five hundred dollars.
Part of getting better involved learning new ways to express my agitation/anger/dismay with things. One of my favourite phrases became “what the heck?!”, which is infinitely better than the alternative. So much so, that I thought it was darling when Goose started saying it a while back. At first she just echoed my usage, but then branched out and began to use it appropriately, and without prompting. I was a little proud.
Lately she has started to put her own spin on it. Always monkeying with the word heck, she has gone through several different pronunciations. First it was HE-ECK, then HI-YUCK, and most recently HUCK. Goose goes around saying “what the HUCK”. That is just way to close to a word that I have never said near her, but I can see where this is going. It involves bringing back the swear jar, as I know this will get pinned on me.
*This rule as actually (and thankfully) only been invoked once. Shortly before Goose was born Willy was tasked with putting our very nocturnal and hard to get back to sleep boy back to sleep. It took a long period of cuddling and rocking, when finally Willy put Woo back in bed. Just as Willy was creeping away, the bed creaked, Woo woke and Willy whispered “oh fuck”. There was a long and silent pause before a sweet little boy voice repeated (three times) what his dad had said. I heard this all on the monitor, so when Willy eventually returned to bed, I leaned over and whispered, “That’ll be eight dollars”.*