What the Geez Louise
I am very far from being a perfect parent. And, sometimes, the sense of overload that comes into the parts of my brain that involve reasoning and language allow for some odd reactions. I think it’s safe to say that my reactions to the oddities that are children’s behaviors leave me stunned and voiceless at times. Have you ever wondered why your kid did something, and the only appropriate response seems to be to stare in disbelief, mouth agape, and your arms just automatically begin to raise to the sky?
It’s the “What are you doing?” look, and I think we all know that look. I’m not saying it happens all of the time, but, sometimes, I wish that would be my response. It doesn’t happen that often, so in hindsight, perhaps I’ll pat myself on the back in the future when I realize how little I actually (accidentally) dropped some type of inappropriate word you (should) only hear in rated-R movies. Perhaps it doesn’t happen that often because I’ve created an automated system of prepared responses, so when the “What are you doing” look doesn’t prevent words from exiting my mouth.
Showing Us the Way
It’s shows like The Good Place and The Big Bang Theory that highlight these comical solutions to cursing up a storm. Full disclosure, The Big Bang Theory’s “What the frack?” is a one-off from Battlestar Galactica. Okay, my nerd alert has sounded off. Oh, how does everyone else spell it; frak or frack?
Anyway, it’s a relief valve. These moments of spewing some comical version of an expletive can turn an intense moment into a reason to smile. I mean, laughter is truly the best medicine. I definitely try to make my wife and kids laugh as often as possible. But, as a parent, it’s easy to forget about that sense of humor and be locked away in the negative mojo that comes with providing structure for our kids. It’s not easy, but when I make my kids laugh, it makes me realize, “Why am I not doing this more?” Or it makes me realize I’m not doing it enough – not even close.
Now, I don’t say frack in front of my kids, because I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole of when they ask what that means. And, yes, they will ask. Some of the simpler words or phrases are “Oh, my goodness,” “What in the world,” “Holy moly,” or one of our recent favorites, “Good googly moogly.” Don’t ask me what that translates to in terms of cursing, but we’ve said it a lot recently. A LOT. I mean, what the frack kind of parents can completely avoid using some form of alternative speak when it comes to our kids.
Spelling it Out
We definitely can’t spell things out either. We left that ship a long time ago. Can you imagine spelling something out and then having your kid figure it out and then sounding it out? Granted, we normally would spell out words for surprises and not curse words, but it’s still fun to think about nonetheless. I think that’s probably why we’ve never spelled out curse words. I can only imagine the parenting stress that would come when dropping and picking up the kids the day after said event. Would they repeat it? It’s bad (or funny) enough that our daughter once wrote the word Franzia once upon a time when she was learning to write. She was practicing writing and she was so proud. “That’s great, honey. Oh, yeah, you spelled Franzia, too.” (The blushed expression was not from the wine, but sheer terror and embarrassment.)
So, what are some of your stellar moments as a parent when you used an alternative rather than the actual expletive? Did you laugh afterwards? Did you confuse your kids or make them laugh too? Share your favorites with us and let’s continue this
awesome fun awkward tradition of saving our skin by thinking of a comical response, instead of the blatantly fracking obvious.
Seriously, what the fork are we even doing as parents?
We always hope our gifts to our kids will be loved and appreciated. So, now we have to wait until Christmas to see if a telescope is actually the perfect gift (as it was asked for).