I’ve been known to say and do many odd things around my kids.
There’s the time we were living in Denver about 7 years ago, we went to the grocery store to get cookout supplies. We’re driving back down into our neighborhood and my son was about 11 or 12 and was sitting in the front passenger seat, the two girls ages 7 and 9 in the back. I saw some kids up ahead walking on the sidewalk (on my son’s side of the car) who we didn’t really know but they were annoying young teens who always roamed the neighborhood. So I instructed my son on what to do for a laugh when we drove by…
He yells out the window, “Hey, look at my buns!”… then holds up the package of hot dog buns we just bought out the window.
And we sped off.
It sent my pre-pubescent children into belly laughs in the car. It’s just one of our memorable little family chuckles.
Another time, it was like just a year ago or two, we’re all in the car (kids are all teens) driving here in Rochester in the winter down a wide city street. I see some young boys, about 7-9 on the side of the street attempting to throw snowballs at cars as they pass. Now mind you, these kids were young and I don’t think the balls were gettin’ within 10 feet of the car. We were all laughing about something else and as I approached, I got this slightly animated cranky old broad face and said , “Oh yea, come on just try and throw one at me ya’ little bastards” and leaned into the steering wheel like I was Mario Andretti and as I passed them I gave them “Grumpy Cat” Face and gave a little shake of my fist.
Just as I get passed I look in the rear view mirror and see a pitiful little pflurf of a snowball go up in the air and land like 5 feet from the kid… to which I murmured “Heh, take that bitches” in a grumpy old broad voice. For some reason that became another memorable moment that always elicits laughter.
One might not think my language or “risque” humor would be appropriate around my kids. But I think it has cultivated the opposite… they know when things are appropriate and when they are not. They understood that I was parodying a grumpy old ignorant man or woman when I was messing with the snowball kids. They know that I would never call a kid a little bastard, well to his face anyway. heh They also know that the bun joke was just a silly play on words. We weren’t malicious and said, “Kiss my buns” or “Lick my buns” or “Give it to me hard in the buns”. Oh sorry. Or it wasn’t like I told my 11 year old to say, “Look at my dick!” and hold up a picture of Andy Dick.
By me exposing my children to different language and different situations, they can better understand things. They don’t use profanity or talk back to me or other adults or peers, ever. (I’m sure they use profanity when out amongst friends but not maliciously) My kids have never yelled at each other or me “I hate you”, nor have they ever called each other a name. Oh sure, they get annoyed with each other once in a while but they just stew for a while, stomp around and finally address it with, “Why are you always borrowing my stuff without asking and always breaking it?”. There’s never any “Fuck you, you asshole whorebag stuff stealer!”. I would not tolerate that… ever. I just taught them from a young age that we all treat each other with respect, not just our family but everyone on Earth.
I think it’s because their Father was such a dirty fighter. He was an incredibly competitive hockey player, so a fight was like… you stepped on his toe so he had to try and slice your jugular. Ya’ know something like this, Me: “God, why can’t you just pick your underwear up off the floor?” Him: (yelling at me with his massive muscular frame in my personal space) “You know what, your Father doesn’t love you because you’re not as successful as his other uptight kids” Uh ok, I’ll just defer this round to you.
After that mishigas (Yiddish for clusterfuck) I decided my household was always going to be rational and respectful. There really is no yelling other than boisterous nonsense with laughing involved. I never yell. They never yell. I know, I know it ruins the image you have of me doesn’t it? But I’m telling you icy stares go a long way. Oh wait, I misspoke there is the occasional exasperated yell from the kitchen “Jesus Christ, why do you people keep piling crap on the garbage like a Jenga game when it’s full, instead of just emptying it?!”. Then I usually go in and calmly address it by telling them to empty it otherwise I’ll find out who put the last thing on top and I will make them sleep with it in their bed. Nobody’s perfect.
I know a person who grew up in a pretty uptight family, everything was controlled. No foul language, no off color humor. Now as an adult this person started to become themselves and kind of gravitates toward adult humor, “That’s what she said” type of humor. Which is fine, I have some of that. But the trouble is the person now has no filter at this point. They just blurt stuff out in front of the wrong crowd. Ya’ know, it’s ok to say that joke at cocktails with our good friends but not to my co-worker you just met.
What’s my point? I don’t know, I just wanted to swear a lot today. Nah, I just think that it’s not a terrible thing to be off color with your kids. Now I don’t mean like this Mother-Daughter porn team I’ve heard about, or the Father-Son pimp team that’s on trial in NY currently. Not that kind of inappropriate. I just think exposing them to things teaches them how to make choices in life instead of sheltering them from it, then they have no idea how to deal when confronted with it… without Mommy and Daddy around. Just my two cents. Now off with you, ya’ little bastards, enjoy the day…
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