I just finished up producing our latest episode of Moms Get Real, and this go-around we tackled the topic of swearing around your kids.
While producing the segment, I had a flash-back to a moment that occurred while I was pregnant and working in the control room last year. A machine froze during the show, causing an on-air mistake, and I let out a long diatribe of four-letter words — to no one in particular.
One of my co-workers stopped what he was doing and said, “Um, are you going to kiss your baby with that mouth?”
I paused, and thought for a couple of moments and said, “Now that is an excellent question.” One that I happened to ignore until just a few weeks ago.
Clearly, I am not perfect. No one is. (Watch Juju Chang and Lee Woodruff broach the subject below.)
However, something (the horrified looks on people’s faces) told me that some are simply shocked by what flies out of my mouth every once in a while.
I have no idea where I picked up this unattractive trait, because my parents really don’t swear at all – and they steer completely clear of the big guns. (Don’t be coy – you know the ones I am talking about.)
In my pre-baby days, I could not care less if my choice of colorful language offended some. I had the attitude, “If you don’t like my language, then don’t talk to me.” Save your breath, I know I had a bit of an edge pre-baby and I know it was very unbecoming.
But that was then. And this is now.
And I am becoming keenly aware of anything that takes place in front of my 10-month-old daughter – including my speech. This occurred to me one night last week, when I was putting Ellie’s pajamas on, and I said, “Are you ready to go night-night?”
She said, in return, “Nigh-nigh-nigh-nigh.”
After I wiped the tears from my eyes because every milestone simply amazes me, I made a promise to myself and to Ellie to stop swearing around her — regardless of how much better it makes me feel when I slam my hip on the same corner of the same TV stand at the same time. Every. Single. Morning.
When I interviewed Adam Mansbach , author of the hit bedtime story for adults, Go The F**k To Sleep, he pointed out there is nothing cute about a kid on the playground dropping the f-bomb.
And I happen to think he is right.
Regardless of whether or not Ellie was actually talking to me when I was getting her ready for bed or just mimicking the sounds I was making – one thing was very clear: I am living with a tiny, beautiful, extremely aware human sponge that is quickly becoming a mirror.
And I always like to try to look good in front of the mirror. Don’t we all?