You learn quickly to watch what you say once you become a parent. Kids are way too smart and start mimicking your words way before they should be able to and usually at the least opportune moment. I once said, “oh sweet Lord, my boob” as a reaction to my oldest son hurling a baseball at me (as if I can catch) when he was a toddler and of course he went around saying, “boob, boob, boob” for a week like it was the only word he had ever heard.
Thankfully, I have never been one with a potty mouth so my kids won’t be picking up any of the really bad words from me, but I have had to watch myself with words like stupid, which right now is still considered a bad word. (Side note, the same son that shouted out boob refers to stupid as “the S word” because he doesn’t know that there is another, much worse S word, and this has become slightly embarrassing when he tells me in public that I should not say the S word).
Oddly enough, the real challenge to keep my cool and watch my words doesn’t happen when the kids are fighting with each other or misbehaving, which is 75% of the time; it’s during the drives to and from schools and other places we must travel to during the week.
I fully admit that I have horrific road rage. Sitting in traffic doesn’t bother me unless I’m really late for something (which surprisingly isn’t often considering that I almost always have at least 1, probably 2, and sometimes 3 kids in tow). However, people who drive below the speed limit in the left lane or slam on their breaks to turn without a blinker, or speed around people to cut in front of others who have been patiently waiting in a merging area, etc., drive me insane.
Knowing that I have this issue has caused me to really try to curb my comments, even when I find myself behind the epitome of incompetence. Lately, I have started just growling/grunting/huffing and any other manner of weird noises to release my agitation. The baby thinks my noises are funny so he starts randomly making the same odd sounds when we are out and about, eliciting some more stares from passersby. When compared to what he could be repeating, I guess the noises are the best possible outcome.
After patting myself on the back for having such self-control in the car, I got yet another parenting wake-up call this morning when I was grunting about another person holding up the drop-off line at my son’s school.
The person was sitting at the front of the line having a full conversation with their kid while the other 300 people behind him just sat there waiting (NOT COOL). All of a sudden I hear my son pipe up from the back seat with the world’s best question, “Mom, is it the priest holding up the line again?”
Seeing as though I am not Catholic and my husband is Jewish, the odds of a priest coming up in a conversation are quite slim so I had no idea why he would think a priest was dropping a child off at school, let alone holding up the line. I replied, “a priest? what are you talking about?” As he gets out of the car, he loudly says in front of the principal, “You know, a few days ago you yelled at the priest in front of us for holding up the line and driving too slow.” WHAT? I yelled at a priest?! NEVER!…..oh, holy poo, he means the PRIUS!
It is a well-known fact amongst my friends and family that I nearly have a nervous breakdown every time I drive behind a Prius because I’m convinced after numerous encounters that this specific brand of car cannot travel faster than 20 miles per hour. I guess that’s how they save gas, I don’t know, but whenever there is a holdup in traffic here, it’s usually because of a Prius in the left lane. (BTW, any Prius owners out there, please do not be offended and feel free to prove me wrong by speeding past me on the road – it would absolutely make my day!)
Apparently, my kids are picking up on my hatred of the Prius and are now confusing it with a hatred of priests! FANTASTIC. I guess it’s time to return to nothing but animalistic grunting before the rest of the world comes to same conclusion! Thank you, dear children, for once again reminding mommy to keep her thoughts to herself (at least until you are out of earshot)!