Saturday, 6 July 2013

Potty training your mouth

A gaming friend of mine was writing about how she was playing games late at night and her mouth just let loose with all sorts of language that she was glad her son couldn't hear.  It's funny because as a gaming parent, I have similar issues.

Swearing and cursing are things we don't want to teach our children, but they are things that they pick up when they're listening to you talking.

One funny time was when our family went out for lunch at Kitchen by Mike, in Rosebery.  Mike McEnearney is the force behind the menu, whom with Jeffery de Rome (both of whom worked at Rockpool in sydney as senior chefs) have come up with this concept of great food in a canteen type environment.  Rustic tables, cutlery in tin containers, a line-up and get served ordering system make it an interesting experience.   Unlike other canteens though, the prices are not cheap, but the food is really nice and it has a coffee section as well.  There is minimal table service so if you're looking for that - you're looking in the wrong place.

It's great for kids because they can just sit at the tables and you don't have to wait for food, you go get it yourself and pay for it and sit.  By lunchtime it's gets packed so get in early.  There is also room to sit outside.

I took some WoW friends to eat there once.  I'm not sure if the menu was not mainstream enough for them.  But they have cakes and desserts as well and the menu changes daily.

Anyway, back to the story.  So we had just had family lunch and we were walking back to the car.  My daughter kept stopping to tug at her leg and pants and scratching.

"What's wrong with you?"  I asked, looking down at her leg.
"Fuck my leg's itchy," she replied, as she tugged the pants down.  She just said the F word.  Just like that.
I was taken aback.  "What did you say?" I asked, calmly, thinking maybe I'd misheard her.
"I said fuck my leg's itchy," she replied.
I put on my nice calm and it's not-a-big-deal voice.  "Oh, you can't say that word E, it's a bad word."
"Which word?"
"Fuck.  It's a bad word.  You can't say that word.  I'm not going to say it again because it's a bad word."
"That's not a bad word.  Shit is a bad word," she replied.
Oh my god.  This was just getting better.
"Yes, that's a  bad word too.  But the F word is a bad word.  You can't ever say that or you will get in big trouble.  Ok?  Please don't say that word again."
"Ok, Mama," she replied.
I hugged her, so she knew she wouldn't be in trouble.  After all she must have heard us saying it.  Which made me wonder. "Where did you hear that word?  Who says it?  Did you hear Mama saying it?"
I know that I say that word a LOT but mostly at nighttime when the kids are asleep.  Anyone who hears me playing World of Warcraft especially in arenas and doing poorly in a raid will hear me drop a couple of bad words... well, maybe more than a couple.
"No, not Mama.  Dad says it."
Aha!  SPRUNG!  I admonished my husband for his use of swear words in front of the kids.  I mean, she even used it in appropriate type of context that you could hear in an everyday occurrence.  If you don't watch your mouth that is.

My daughter is well trained now.  She never says the bad words, but whenever she hears them, or she hears us saying them, she says "So-and-so said a naughty word!" and whoever says it apologises for saying it and tried really hard not to say it again.  Relatives, friends, are also suitably admonished and they contritely say sorry and try their best not to swear in front of my kids.

But your kids will hear these words at school, on TV, or read it on the internet.  I think it's important to let them know that it's NOT a good word, and try hard not to use it.  If we can exercise some restraint, then so the kids.  In fact, I am really impressed with the amount of restraint my daughter has, because she never says the words anymore.  If she can do it, why can't we?


  1. Snip from a mostly autobiographical story:

    As point of fact, I do say "dang". I was a properly raised Southern Gentleman and as such knew it was inappropriate to say "damned" in front of ladies. And I had been taught the best way to do that was curry the habit of saying dang at all times, irrespective of the female presence. So it was that I had the credit of having the lady police officer quote me as having said "dang moonshine".

    This explains how I earned the title "Dang Fool".

    1. That's what I need! A distraction word!