Posted by: Jamie Stamm | December 22, 2008

I need to watch my freakin’ language

This may come as a shock to my mother, who is one of my loyal blog readers, but I don’t always use the nicest of language.

I guess it could be in my blood (my grandfather was a sailor, after all), but I attribute much of my cursing to the 11 years I spent in a newsroom (13 if you count my two years at my college paper). I think more than a decade of uncooperative sources, irrationally angry subscribers, unreturned phone calls and impossible deadlines is enough to turn anyone into a potty mouth.

Before I started staying home with the kids, I would try to get all my naughtiness out at work, where my colleagues didn’t even seem to notice my use of expletives. In fact, most had four-letter vocabularies that rivaled my own. But now, well, I only leave the house to go to the kids’ schools, the library and the grocery store, and I feel the need to restrict my language at those venues just as much, if not more, than I do at home.

I admit to the occasional slip, especially when I’m angry, and I’ve taken to substituting words like “freaking” and “crap” when I feel the need to say something worse. But even those aren’t things I want my kids to start repeating.

And they have.

This afternoon, Jerry came into the kitchen chuckling.

“Your son just stubbed his toe,” Jerry said. “And do you know what he said?”

“What?” I asked, my stomach tightening a bit.

“I hurt my freakin’ toe,” Jerry replied.

I got to hear the same phrase live later in the day after Anthony stepped on a toy in his room.

On a positive note, at least Ant is building his vocabulary, and I now know that he listens to some of what I say (although it’s the bad things, of course).

But still, “freaking” is not a word I want him breaking out at preschool. So when I feel the urge to drop my modified F-bomb, I’m going to have to start biting my tongue even harder than I already do.

I just hope it doesn’t pop off.



  1. I love the f word. It is so versatile. But I agree. Not so nice coming from a kid’s mouth. I substitute freaking and am not so thrilled when they repeat that but I figure it’s better than the alternative!

  2. I try to say fiddlesticks – but Billy says I could say fudgesicle and it’s still “cursing” bc of the intonation and inflection. But fiddlesticks and fudgesicle is still nicer than the alternatives.

    Javi says “oh barnacles!” and “cheese and crackers” A LOT! 🙂

  3. Seriously, you are such a hypocrite, just like most other people. Everyone uses these words, including yourself, and yet you forbid your children to use them. And for what a pathetic reason – because it’s not socially acceptable for a child to use them. If you think that you are protecting your children by doing so then heed my words – you are an idiot. They are going to learn to ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ anyway! Additionally, by forbidding them to say these you are ENCOURAGING THEM to learn and use them. I’m not sure if the general populace is too stupid or too stubborn to notice this, but generally immature people (like, children) are drawn to what’s forbidden.

  4. So, Anonymous, are you suggesting that I should allow my children to curse? And then do what when they get punished at school or in other social situations for saying bad words?

    I’m sorry, but I would rather be a hypocrite than allow my 2- and 5-year-olds to utter profanity.

    I posted your comment anonymously this time, but I won’t do it again. Next time, be brave enough to leave your name.

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