My Toddler Dropped the F-Bomb & It Was a Big Wake-Up Call

hear no evilIt was a day for the books. Epically bad. The kind where, on some level, you know you and your bad energy are the cause of all the shit things that keep happening (over and over and over again). But you can't shake it. And, to be honest, you don't even really want to. It's called brooding, and it's become sort of like a game. How much else could possibly go wrong, Universe?!

I had just pulled into my driveway after a tantrum-tastic trip to Trader Joes with my daughter. I was unloading two paper grocery bags from my car (one of which the handle broke off as I picked it up, naturally), and when I went to close the trunk, it slammed down onto my head. The part where the top of my head meets my forehead, to be exact. (Thank god for bangs!) My eyes instantaneously filled with tears, and blood instantaneously gushed down my face. And then my voice box instantaneously said, "Fuck!"

And then so did my 17-month-old daughter's. Fuck.

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I love my swear words, but I don't use them around my child. At around nine months or so, I weened myself off them in her presence, replacing "shit" with "shoot" and "what the heck?" for "what the fuck?" The kid, like all kids, is a parrot, and I obviously don't want curse words part of her vernacular.

But in this case, it just happened. Had it been a different kind of day, perhaps "Oh, my god!" or "OW!!!" would have come out. But it wasn't an "oh, my god" or an "ow" kind of a day. It was a "fuck" day through and through. That's when I realized, "Wow. I'm not handling stress very well right now, and my daughter is probably picking up on that, too." And that was more of a wake-up call than her repeating a bad word. 

Like all moms, I try to be the best parent I can be. I want to do right by my daughter, because there isn't a thing on this earth that holds a candle to how important she is to me. Every decision is made with her best interest in mind. But I'm starting to realize that sometimes putting myself first actually is in her best interest.

Come last Wednesday, I was just done. Done in every sense of the word. My husband's grad school classes had started up once again, leaving me to balance work and home life alone for very long stretches of time. There was family drama. I had to fire one of my babysitters. By no means are these problems no one's ever dealt with before (and, yes, I know, they're first world problems), but I just wasn't handling them well. And my daughter's first curse word made me realize that, and that she was probably picking up on my energy, despite putting a happy face on in front of her.

I'm going to get a pedicure tonight. And read a magazine while I'm doing so. It's not the best use of my money, and it'll probably stress out my husband for a bit when he gets home from work. But I need one. Not in the sense that my toenails are in desperate need of TLC, but in the sense that I'm in desperate need of some alone time and a battery recharge. 

And I know when I get home, if I bang my head on anything, I'll say, "Shoot!" instead of, well, you know.

Have you ever cursed in front of your child? How do you handle stress?


Image via orvalrochefort/Flickr

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