Monday, November 19, 2012

The Driving Curse

When I drive, idiots seem to come out of the woodwork, from the lady yakking on her cell phone while she drifts into my lane to the car full of people with the rear axel hitting the road.  I certainly cannot let them hit my vehicle, and I can't psychically pull them out of their vehicle and slap them silly(which gets my vote for the best possible superpower to have).   My one recourse in these cases is to curse at them, and that is what I do.  I curse long and usually quite loudly...unless Zane is in the car.  

When my child was born, and we brought him home from the hospital, my husband and I made a concerted effort not to curse anymore, at least not in front of the boy.  I have had nightmares about my son yelling profanity in the middle of Mass, confirming what my great aunts the nuns all said about me years ago.  I was determined that those nightmares not come true.  I've been pretty successful over the last five years, I'd like to think.  With the exception of a few slip ups with the s*** word, I've been able to keep Zane from acquiring new words that would get him kicked out of Catholic school.  Until this weekend.

Zane and I were heading to his last soccer game when a truck with a trailer changed lanes in front of me.  Or rather the truck changed lanes, then the trailer decided to stick with the truck.  It was a chancy thing, and I don't think that the trailer really wanted to go with the truck.  I was in the lane where the truck arrived; he not only cut me off, but his trailer almost tipped over onto our car, and I had to slam on my brakes.  My heart was racing because I panicked and I was furious at the driver AND his trailer. I checked on Zane in the mirror to make sure he was okay, but otherwise I continued driving.

"Mama, what's a f***er?" came a voice from the backseat. 

My heart dropped into my stomach.  My brain did a quick rewind, and yes, I DID say that word, and yes, my child DID notice.  That's what children do. They pay attention to exactly what you want them to skip over.  Their brains are little tape recorders, and my son has an uncanny auditory memory, which is why I didn't want him to hear Larry and I cursing in the first place.

I almost said another curse word, this time to myself, but it was time to accept the consequences, and I could not erase the last minute.  I sucked it up and did the adult thing.  I apologized to Zane for saying that word in front of him.  I told him that I was very scared about that truck, I wasn't thinking, and I said something that I should not have said.  I emphasized that the word I used was not a nice word, and that it was not a word I ever wanted to hear him say, because it was a very, very bad word.  I think that I got through to him.  He hasn't mentioned it since. 

Maybe I dodged that bullet for now.  Or maybe I will be getting a phone call from the school this week or the next.  I don't remember reading anything about the penalty for calling your teacher a bad word, but I am sure that it involves something horrible.

How about you?  Anyone else ever cuss in front of a child?  How did you handle it?


  1. Haha! Now he knows not to say it in front of YOU - but he might test it out in the playground ... Seriously, I don't think he'll be blighted for life by knowing you're a normal adult, and you can't stop him from hearing those words elsewhere.

    1. I just have to learn to curse in another language!


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