I don’t mind admitting that I’ve been a little stressed of late. The job search, the subsequent uncertainty about moving house now I may be temporarily ‘sans vocation’ and an assortment of other first world problems have left me feeling rather up against it all.
As a result, I *may* have become a little more liberal in my attitude towards swearing. It’s *possible* that the odd rude word may have escaped my mouth in the presence of my not-quite-two-year-old son. Naughty Daddy!
Beforehand, I got away with it. Even a couple of weeks ago, I probably could have uttered a torrent of expletives in front of Xander and been spared the embarrassment of having him repeat a single word of it. Not now!
I was getting him ready for bed a few days ago when he decided he was going to do a runner as soon as I took his old nappy off. I simply let out a heavy sigh, weary after a long day at work and not ready for another battle of wills. “… fuck’s sake” he said with the same intonation I do. I was shocked and, before I’d had a chance to react appropriately, he said it again just as Dylan wandered in. Shiiiiiiiiiiit.
Fortunately, Dylan misheard him and proudly yelled what he thought his little brother had said. “Fox, snake! Fox, snake!” Phew. “That’s right, Xander!” I said, seizing the opportunity to think on my feet. “Fox and snake are two of the animals in The Gruffalo. What are the others, eh?”
I think I got away with it – although I must have had a mortified expression on my face, as Dylan still gets an “I’m being naughty and I know it” look on his when he sporadically shouts out the names of these two woodland creatures.
Then yesterday, our pint-sized potty mouth struck again. It was during the evening meal this time. As usual, he had scoffed down his food and was trying to persuade me to share mine with him. I stood firm and he seemed to accept it… only he then decided that, as he was finished, he would stack his bowl and cutlery on my plate. Which still had food on it.
As his bowl splatted down into my curry, I let out a frustrated “Ohhhhhh” To which he added “bugger!” It was like having a junior version of The Fast Show’s Unlucky Alf at the table. And, yes, of course I made the mistake of laughing.
Coming up for a year ago, I recall inadvertently teaching Dylan his first expletive. It was pancake day and, being fundamentally useless in the kitchen, I had left a tea towel a little too close to the hobs.
I dealt with the minor fire calmly and without anyone else actually realising. Turning around to get back to the job in hand though, I knocked over the jug with the pancake mix in it. There was only enough left for one so he ended up joyfully wolfing it down while shouting “borrocks!”
Kate will be making the pancakes this year.