That our kids don’t sound more like truckers is a total mystery to me.
I confess, I don’t hold back at home. I mean, I don’t intensionally cuss and carry on, but there are moments which just seem to call for a bit of language. When someone ignores the rule about no food in the bedrooms and you find banana ground into the carpet, or someone’s given your keyboard a drink of water.
Or when you’re suddenly woken up by your four year old, perched at the end of your bed yelling, “AAAAARRRHHHH!”
She wasn’t even doing it at me!? She was screaming out to her brother in another room because they were playing How To Train Your Dragon.
Now to give me some credit, even while being shocked out of a very pleasant slumber, at some level I did attempt to edit my outburst. It’s just, unfortunately, I cropped off the first word of the expression instead of the last.
“THE FARK!” I yelped.
I have a similar problem when I try to stop ‘for fark’s sake’ from coming out in its entirety: try as I might I only seem to be able to drop the ‘for’.
And yet our kids aren’t prone to stringing together expletives every time a sibling pisses them off – something which happens a hell of a lot more often than the banana thing. But when they do, we obviously pull them up on it. The rule is, while we don’t recommend it, they can swear if they want with their friends, but if they get caught by an adult and then they have to cop their punishment on the chin. It’s a useless rule we’ve obviously worked backwards from the standpoint they’re clearly going to swear anyway, but hopefully they can be taught to curtail their cussing around adults and not answer back if they’re pulled up.
I thought we were pretty clever to come up with this arrangement, but it turns out we’re not alone.
The word drifted up from around the side of our house where some friends of ours were parking their cars. I also recognised the tone. It spoke of pain. Over the years I’ve used a similar one when a toddler decided to jump onto my lap and pretend to make wine with my grapes.
It was followed, very quickly, by the usual response.
“I. Beg. Your. Pardon,”
“Sorry, Mum, but you hit me in the head with his foot!”
I later found out, in getting her kids out of the car our friend had swung her youngest child around and hit her oldest in the head with a pair of size two feet, hence the outburst.
“That’s no reason to swear,” said our friend.
A toddler feet first to the head? Personally, I think it’s the perfect reason to swear.
“Sorry, Mum,” said the young wounded master as I walked around the corner to greet them, “but you should be happy. I could have said farking hell.”
Should have been, but from the look on her face I don’t know that’s exactly how she saw it.
And while I didn’t hear what she mumbled next, the installation of glass barriers on the counters of banks these last ten or so years has meant I’ve become quite proficient in reading lips, and I’d bet the farm and the milk run I recognised a ‘for fark’s sake’ sneaking it’s way past her lips.
Which is probably why we’re such good friends. If we all keep this up, one day our kids might even work together at the same interstate trucking company. That’s the farkin’ dream, isn’t it?
“Raising a family on little more than laughs”
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