Some people are gifted mathematically, some athletically and some with their hands. Me? I am very, very good with words… swear words.
It is a gift… a gift bestowed on me by the Gods of Guttertalk and an alcoholic waterfront working dad.
It is fortunate that in my husband I have found my swearing soul mate – a foul mouthed fiend who elevates the use of expletives to an art form. His vulgarity is truly a thing of inspired beauty.
When Devilboy was born, we discussed our prolific use of profanity and agreed that we’d rather not pass on our flair for nefarious nattering to our son. When friends began to joke that our newborn baby’s first word would be ‘fuck’, we decided it was time to stop . That meant that as well as learning to parent on 30 seconds a night sleep we virtually had to learn a whole new language.
It’s been a challenge (How does one replace the word ‘fuck’ in the vernacular – Gosh? Golly? Darn? Fuck it, it simply can’t be supplanted) but we’ve done our best to keep it clean while talking in front of the devilish one. Swearing before 7pm is banned and though we both are guilty of the occasional smutty slip of the tongue, we’ve done a pretty good job in keeping our cursing in check.
Or so we thought.
Devilboy also has a gift for words. At 16 months of age he has more than 50 individual words and we are very proud and encouraging of his ever expanding vocabulary. He loves to chat and is happy to demonstrate his skills to anyone who’ll listen.
So, given our attempts to ensure he didn’t ‘work blue’ at childcare, we were tremensously shocked when our Devlish orator recently pointed to his genitals and announced loudly and proudly to anyone who cared to listen, “Dick dick!”.
We were aghast. We don’t even use that particular swear word, at least not in context. We refer to that particular appendage as a doodle, a noodle, a tossil, a willy, and even a penis… but never, ever a dick!
Where the fuck had he learned it? (I told you it was irreplaceable, I love it… seriously, “Gosh darn it, Where did he learn it?” just doesn’t have anywhere near the same impact!)
“Oh Shit!” we wailed, “What kind of fucking arsehole would teach him to say dick?”
It begged the question – could swearing be inherent? Was it genetic like eye colour, wide feet and height? Or were we simply the worst parents of all time?
Thankfully not. It seemed that Joe Jackson and that “keep out the rabbits” dipshit in the Telstra ads were way ahead of us on that list. And luckily for us, it turned out that our potty mouthed protégé wasn’t really swearing after all – he was just trying to get his mouth around another new word.
Doodle! “Dick Dick” was him trying to work out how to pronounce the double ‘d’ sound and within a few days he was capably (and publically, which is a whole other concern I wont go into right now) pointing to his penis and happily declaring it his “doodle.”
Phew. We didn’t need to cut out our tongues after all! But it got me talking to a few other people about how careful we had to be now that our little sponge was taking on every new word he heard. I was relieved to find we weren’t the only parents who struggled to keep their potty mouths in check and that even Devilboys conservative middle aged GP failed in that area from time to time.
He explained that whilst he and wife tried their hardest not to, they occasionally let fly with some ill advised language in front of their children. And, when their three year old happily requested they “look at the fucking cows” on a country outing, his wife did what every hypocritical foul mouth parent would and angrily yelled at him to never EVER use that word again.
Sobbing after his mothers attack, their son innocently replied, “Sorry mummy… look at the fuckings.”
Though I’m relieved that even respected medical practitioners screw up when raising their kids and his story did underline the fact that we cannot ever swear again – even if it means we need to start communicating via interpretive dance – I’m afraid I’ll never see a cow in quite the same light again.