It’s Time To Retire My Beloved Swear Words While My F**kin’ Kid Learns To Talk

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bird-cursing Well, damn. I thought I had some more time before I had to bite this f**king bullet, but these things have a way of sneaking up on my ass. The little f**ker is starting to echo my every f**king word, so it looks like I’m going to have to stop cussing. And yes, that’s what we called it in the s**thole where I grew up. It’s “cussing” and not that civilized bulls**t known as “cursing.” Damn straight.

F**k. My editor encouraged me to get this out of my system, but holy hell, it’s hard to swear in writing this much without sounding like a psychopath. Which is surprising to me, since I’ve been cussing my whole damn life. My parents always used to say “bad words” in front of me as a kid (well, the milder ones, anyway), with strict warnings not to repeat them when I was out of the house. But once I reached fifth grade and moved to a new town, that rule went out the f**king window.

I was short and always the youngest in any class, so everyone assumed the new girl was sweet and complacent, good, like the other small, smart girls in school. I was small, alright, but I was also angry – about all those things tween girls get angry about – and not really interested in complying with what everyone thought I should be. Saying bad words in casual conversation (and out of earshot of the teachers) became my first way of showing my peers I was bigger on the inside.

As I grew up and moved to big, bad New York City at 17, I sharpened my tongue a little more as street armor. “You can’t push this girl around, motherf**kers!” was basically my motto as I walked around. Of course, I also love to use these words for all their other functions – according to psychologists, they’re excellent, cathartic releases for anger, frustration, joy, and surprise. They also help us avoid physical violence. Even chimps use a form of gesture and sound to warn others not to get on their last nerve, and this is sometimes enough to avoid a physical fight. I’m not talking about the kind of bad words meant to insult or denigrate others. Just the ones that convey the strongest emotion about a given situation.

Lately, though, I’m realizing that I’m not fighting the same stereotype I used to. I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’m tough. And it’s maybe not so cute if I scream at an a-hole bike rider in the park to get off of the f**king sidewalk where my kid is playing. I don’t hear anyone laughing when I rant about the s**tty dryers at the laundromat in front of small children. I’m starting to look like a grown-ass woman with no self-control.

The little guy just learned to sing his ABCs this week. He probably shouldn’t move straight from that to sounding like he walked out of a Tarantino movie. So, goddamn motherf**king s**t, I’m going to have to find less efficient, more delicate ways to express myself, even as life with a toddler inevitably becomes more frustrating and deserving of a few bleepworthy outbursts. I’m a writer for f**k’s sake. Finding new words shouldn’t be too hard, should it?

F**k me.

I need help. At least until it’s time for me to be the funny old lady with the potty mouth.

(Photo: Shutterstock)


  1. Guest

    November 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I do feel cathartic release from swearing or threatening my computer or iPad with violence when it doesn’t want to fucking work like it’s supposed to…it is probably the only reason those items are still intact.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      November 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Are you me? That’s my relationship to pretty much all inanimate objects!

  2. Ursi

    November 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Might I suggest switching to another language to swear? I do that at work because I don’t want to be called out as unprofessional. German and Russian are excellent choices and if the little one attempts the copy that baby voice is going to make it sound like a nonsense word.

    You should hear the little one I know attempt “scheisse”

  3. FishQueen

    November 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    My first full sentence was apparently “Close the fucking drapes.” My dad has an aversion to sunlight, I was a tiny parrot, and the rest is history my mom was too mortified to put in my baby book.

    I love a good curseword, but I think that this is probably the right approach; at least until the kid is old enough to understand the difference between words that are okay for home and words that are okay for daycare/school/playground/the commune/wherever.

    • JoanFStaley

      November 2, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      @disqus_TT33fFsEDW:disqus Since I started with my online business
      I earn $62 every hour
      It sounds unbelievable but
      you wont forgive yourself if
      you don’t check it out.learn the facts here now.


    • cabecb

      November 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      It was surprising to many that my first word wasn’t a swear because my parents swore like sailors. My dad was in the army but my mom has a PhD and many people assume shouldn’t swear. In fact, I could not swear until I was an adult in my twenties.

  4. guest

    November 2, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Beer was my first word, which proves that kids saying words other than swear words can get you looking like a bad parent. The real story: my parents would always tell me what objects they were holding or us ing before I could talk, and one day at the grocery store I pointed to the six pack that the guy in front of us had and said beer, in front of teo little old ladies, that guy and the cashier. My mother was mortified.

  5. Anne

    November 2, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I’m not going to stop swearing. Those words are only as powerful as you make them. I don’t swear at people (to their faces…in private that’s another story…) I do swear if I stub my toe or trip over something or get frustrated and I think that’s fine. When I was pregnant my sister told my Dad off for swearing in front of me because “They can hear it in the womb!” I mean how silly is that? Swear words are just words.

    • Sri

      November 2, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Are you… Are you my sil? I’m assuming not because of your name, but I’ve had the same experience, and it seems really bizarre. One of my sil refused to enter a room with scary or violent movies or be around people who swear while gestating out of fear that her kidlet could hear it in the womb. She better not come to me with that bullshit on the next one, because fuck that. If it were because she found it personally upsetting or was worried about the stress of the movie, I might be more understanding, but not because she thinks her baby is going to pop out with a fucking butcher knife swearing like a sailor because it can hear (and understand, because it’s a fucking genius fetus) in the womb.

  6. aCongaLine

    November 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Yeah, my oldest will frequently yell from the backseat “where’s my f*cking sippy cup?!” I’m impressed that she uses it correctly in a sentence. 🙂 I feel your pain, though, yo. I f*cking feel you.

  7. Wonder Woman

    November 2, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Eldest boy pushed the youngest boy down. Youngest boy jumped up and called him an asshole. Eldest had it coming so I gave youngest a pass but we did discuss it. Wondering where he learned it? Not their dad…
    I told my husband just today that I needed to slow down a bit. The kids, particularly the boys, are picking up my habit. They’re just words but it’s something that they need to learn to control and use in the correct situation. They’re not old enough for that yet.

  8. tk88

    November 3, 2014 at 2:02 am

    It’s not a “bad” word, but one of my friends told my this story of her first sentence. She was 3 and had been watching Home Alone recently. Her parents went through a toll booth and when her father handed the toll attendant the money they commented on how cute she was. Then she looks at him and belts out the line from Home Alone, “Keep the change, you filthy animal!” One of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard.

  9. leahdawn

    November 3, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    My cousin had to break her swearing habit when her 3-year-old daughter’s catch phrase became “Oh shit”. I thought it was hilarious, of course my cousin was mortified.

  10. PAJane

    November 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I am still trying to curb my cursing around other people’s kids…and mostly failing. Hooooooooow?

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