January 12, 2009

Slip Of The Tongue

By Camryn

My daughter sits in absolute shock in the backseat. She’s clinging to her pizza and soda like I had just touched her in a game of “freeze tag.” Her eyes are as wide as inner tube tires. It was the sound of her jaw falling open and hitting her knees that made me turn from my conversation with my husband in the front seat of the car.

“What?” I ask. Did Root Beer just dribble out of the corners of her mouth? Ewwww…..

She ignores me and frantically glances over her shoulder. Her eyes are ready to pop from her head like one of those mechanical toy ice cream poppers. She turns to her older sister who is sitting in the far, FAR nosebleed backseat area of the car.
With a harsh whisper, the younger sister nearly hyperventilates as she shrieks, “Mom just said the ‘S’ word!”

“Who did?!” the older daughter squeaked.
I turn back in my seat and continue to stare at them quizzically through the make-up mirror. I did? I turn to my husband and he’s smiling at their conversation.
“W-o-w,” my daughter breaths.
Hmmm….I don’t recall using that word...

Oh, there are PLENTY of opportunities to use it, but I don’t. (Not to say it doesn’t cross my mind at certain times...but we’re in the car and my 3 year old didn’t mark up the leather couch with markers, like she did a few months ago. Or the time I lifted the baby out of his car seat in the dark garage and I thought he was wet as I held him against my body and carried him inside, only to discover under the kitchen lights I was covered in….the other stuff….)(just for clarification, it was up to my elbows, splattered across my WHITE sweater, and it was up in his hair. So when he happily shrieked and head-butted me, yeah, you can guess what smeared across my neck…….)

So, there are a few times words escape my thoughts….but did I have a slip of the tongue without being aware of it in front of my kids?
I suppose a slip of the tongue could happen….I'm caged in with 4 kids like a government lab rat, being tested on at which level a woman’s sanity cracks under the intense lunacy….

Yeah. Oh yeah. It’s possible.

“Well,” my older daughter pipes up, whispering loudly. “Did you hear the time when mom said the ‘g’ word?”
The younger is shaking her head, staring at the older sister with awe at having been around for that moment. I scratched my head. What? Was I present for this?

“Really?” the younger sister questions her. The older sister nods solemnly. “Well, did you hear her say the “e” word?”
I am CONFUSED. I turn to my husband. “Is there an “e” word?”
“Evil,” he answers.

I wanted more answers so I turn to my two witnesses. “So what is the “g” word?” I asked my kids, throwing myself into their conversation.
“Jerk,” the younger automatically replied.
“That’s the “j” word, not the “g” word.” The older sister shoots back.

(To defend myself, I have never used the work “Gerk”. Could you imagine? “Look at the way that man is driving! What a Geeerrrk!” and when I say this, my eyes are crossed and my front teeth are jutting out. Let’s throw in a Barney Fife / Steve Urkel accent for effect.)

“And the “s” word?” I question them, skeptical now.
“Stupid,” they say automatically, together.

Great. My kids have been taught a vocabulary of Christian swear words—all kindly taught to them (unknowingly on my part) when I’m driving and complimenting someone’s driving during rush hour traffic. Usually it goes something like this:

* warning* the following sentence is full of profanities. Read at your own risk.

Me: “I can’t believe he just did that! What a stupid, idiotic, moronic, man driver! He just cut me off! I have four freakin kids in here and you could have killed us! Dork!” I rant. “Your stupid, jerky, reckless driving is going to kill somebody! I swear (no pun intended) if I was a cop, I’d have pulled you over---where’s a cop when you need one?!”

(notice I said “jerky” not “gerky”, I need to clarify that.)

Okay- so I try to keep my Christian potty mouth to a minimum. I try not to let my kids see this side of me and I try to be nice- but we mothers have our slips—I’m not perfect. I hate to admit that my kids have seen this side of me on days when people are driving “stupid.”
*GASP* (Did I just type that out loud? Thanks heavens the kids aren’t reading over my shoulder. I would have put the 5 year old into cardiac arrest by now.)

But what can I say? To all those reckless man drivers out there, if you drive dumb—you’re a bum. You’re going to bring out the “mean mommy” in me when you’re carelessly ignoring the “mommy” carrying precious cargo. To those drivers, I blame Y.O.U. for bringing out the “Christian swear words” in me.

So, I then proceeded to educate my kiddos that these were not real swear words. They just weren’t nice words. “So, what are the real swear words?” they asked.
“Um…well, I’m not going to give you an educational vocabulary lesson right now,” I say.
“But mom!” they wail, “We need to know so that we don’t use them! What are they? Ooo, I bet dumbnut is one!”

(okay- yeah. I say that a lot.)

“No, dumbnut is not a swearword.”
“Then what is?”
“I’m not going to tell you right now, but maybe if you guys get me mad enough…” I tease them. “Just don’t go chasing your sister with the scissors again while trying to cut her hair.”
“So, would you say one then?”

There’s a gleam in my daughter’s eye. Great. “Don’t get any ideas, kids.”

“Okay,” they chime in musically with animated mice voices they copied off Cinderella. (Don’t ask them to sing “someday my prince will come.” Well, unless you really want to see test the theory of dog howling.)

I eye them sternly. “NO ideas….” I warn them again.
They’re still staring back at me with plastered, faux grins.

Did I just see their fingers cross?
I inwardly cringe. The kids are exchanging glances, still smiling. They’re going to try and test my resolve, I can SENSE it. “I am going to be on my best behavior, I am going to be on my best behavior,” I chant. But their growing smiles are making me….nervous. I change my plea. “Please don’t let them figure out how to make the baby poop on me again, please don’t let them figure out HOW to MAKE the baby PoOp on Me AgaiN!!”


Amy said...

You are hilarious! Yah we have started the "mom or dad owes Taylor a quarter every time we say a bad word!" So needless to say he is getting quite rich, man that's awful to day!

Hey really thanks for the oil, the cake turnrd out darling all with a little help from our friendly neighbors!

Heather said...

Ok sounds like hubby has been teaching your children the "swear" words, better ask him for a list so when talking to your children you can look at it and make sure you are not "swearing"...I love it your family is so normal it's great!!!

tina said...

funny. nice smiles girls.