Dirty Laundry

Sugar Jets and Horse Feathers


Well, it’s happened. My son is not even two years of age and I’ve already heard him curse. My husband and I (mostly) watch our language around the children, but there are times when you just need to swear, and substitute phrases just don’t feel the same. Things like “sugar jets and horse feathers” seem promising until you try to say them with conviction and it’s like singing your favorite song out loud to the Kidz Bop version of it.

You know those sweet tales new parents tell of their children’s first words? The “milestone moment” when a baby graduates from babble to actual speech? This is not going to be one of those stories. Instead, I’m going to share the swear words my son has learned and the context for which each one happened. It’s my way of taking my mom guilt and making it into something a bit more lighthearted!

The word: Dammit

The Context: Our senior dog shitting.on.floor.again. What makes “new life” in the home wicked awesome? Managing “old life” around it at the same time. I’m a mom to two under two, and a 13-year old pug. All three of them weigh under 30 lbs, but probably produce 60 lbs of crap each day. I’m lucky if half of that makes it into a diaper. Mostly it’s presented on the floor, the wall, everyone’s clothes and my bare hands.

The day it happened: I was feeling strong in the poo-pocalypse because I’d successfully walked the dog until she gave me a #2 outside while the baby was napping and my son was enjoying the rest of his cheese stick in the high chair. Then suddenly, as we came through the kitchen door, the dog tore ass all over the rug. The door swung over the warm steamy nuggets spreading them over the floor like a knife gliding over butter cream frosting on a sheet cake. Needless to say, there was vocabulary involved. My son picked it up, and proceeded to say “dammit, dammit, dammit” in every tone and inflection he has while playing with magnets on the refrigerator.

The word: Jesus Christ.

The Context: One of the first things I noticed when I became a part-time stay-at-home-mom is the loss of urgency people have on the road between the hours of 9:00AM-4:00PM. The go-go-go traffic of rush hour just isn’t happening in the middle of the day. Nobody seems to care about getting anywhere quickly, and this means Type-A mommas like myself might freak out if they get in the car and get stuck behind “Sunday drivers” on a Tuesday.

The day it happened: I was cleaning the house in the morning because I had this fantasy that I could get it done and then use my entire afternoon to do work during the kids’ naps. Story time always ensures a long nappies so though I was pushing it on time that morning (there’s always just one more thing you can get done, right?), I raced to get the kids out the door and to the library. Of course we ended up behind an old man in a pick-up truck who was zero concerned about my ability to advance the car any faster than 30MPH on a 50MPH no-passing road. Since putting my foot on the gas and driving like an asshole isn’t an option with my kids in the car, the alternative is shouting curse words over my steering wheel. I shouted “Jesus Christ,” and while that’s bad, I think I deserve points for not adding, “Are you fucking kidding me?” The moment we walked into the library, my son hit me with a “Jeez rice.” I’m hoping other moms just thought he was hungry.

The Word: Mother-F-er. Only it wasn’t “F-er” that he said, it was the full version. I can’t even bring myself to type it out.

The Context: Ever have to empty an overly-loaded, broken diaper genie? Let me tell you something. It’s an experience. From the soiled diapers spilling forth and unfolding so their contents go rogue everywhere, to the sharp bits of plastic inside the “craptraption” that scrape your freshly-pooed hands. And did I mention the stench? Febreeze couldn’t even.

The day it happened: My son (22 months old) came up with me and the baby to change her diaper in the nursery. He was on the floor stacking some blocks and I was dealing with sweet potato surprise on the changing table. Everything was going swell until I lifted the lid to the diaper genie and tried to push the dirty diaper down the tube. It was getting stuck on something, and on a particularly forceful push, the diaper retaliated and sort of popped like a water balloon. Yes, it was awesome. As I used one hand to manage a curious toddler to stay away from the mess and stifle the writhing of the baby who continued cranking out #2 goodness directly onto her receiving blanket, I used the other hand to “repair” the diaper genie by forcing my fist through the hole to clear the blockage and ended up scraping myself on a chard of plastic. And that’s when the “MF-er” burst forth from my lips like the steed of all swear words, pausing time as my son looked at me sweetly. “Mucker,” he said. And we never spoke of it again.

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