I swear it’s true

September 12, 2011

TL was just finishing off his bagel the other morning when he suddenly went pale, shot out of his seat, and ran off, shouting, ‘bloody hell!’.

‘Whaaaaat?’ I said, as the rest of us sat round the breakfast table looking surprised. ‘I’m supposed to be at a breakfast meeting in St Pancras. Now!’ he said, as he rummaged for shoes/coat/keys/phone. ‘Bloody hell!’ I agreed, and watched as he sprinted down the road.

I went back to finish breakfast. ‘You said ‘bloody hell’!’ said Child One and Child Two together, in deeply accusatory tones.

That’s the trouble with not swearing. When I do finally, occasionally, crack and allow an oath to pass my lips, it becomes a bigger story for the girls than the calamity that provoked it.

Once, when our car had just that day come back from the garage, some idiot person opened their own car door right into our side. The children learned some rich, fruity new vocabulary that day and, naturally,  told their teacher all about it. Luckily, at the time we lived in Belgium so the teacher, I very much hope, was none the wiser.

A friend who is a lot less buttoned-up about swearing said she knew she was probably overdoing it when she had to brake suddenly at a crossing, and her five-year-old piped up from the back, ‘aren’t you going to say ‘Frog In Hole’ like you usually do, Mummy?’

When, not so long ago, I forgot to pick up a friend’s daughter (arghhhhhhh! except that arghhhhhhh! wasn’t the word I used), Child One gave me a severe talking-to. ‘Mummy, you need to learn some new swear words. You used the same one about 17 times!’

But even when you stop yourself from swearing, you’re not out of the woods as a parent. Another friend, who hails from Ireland, was in a restaurant with her small daughter when the waiter dropped a plate right by their table. ‘Jesus Crisis!’ shouted the little girl, while her mother did the only sensible thing she could – tried desperately to hide behind a napkin.



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  • Jane Alexander September 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I can’t comment, I really can’t… I would only slip up and say something really revolting… In fact, my son’s friends love to come round so they can learn new swear words from me…inadvertently, I hasten to add – I don’t set them up at the table and give them homework in cussing… xxxx

    • Dulwich Divorcee September 13, 2011 at 9:36 am

      Oooh, I wish you did do homework in cussing, I feel I could learn a thing or two from you. I bet ‘feck’ isn’t the only word you use, now is it? xxxx

  • Rebecca September 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Haha! Funny post!

    I’ve been a primary teacher for years so am fairly well trained not to swear. I like words which sound a bit like swear words such as shoot. I am trying to train myself out of saying “for god’s sake!” I know it’s not a swear but when the 4 year old said it the other day it sounded awful.

    • Dulwich Divorcee September 13, 2011 at 9:38 am

      I know what you mean – a small child said ‘oh my God’ to me the other day and it really isn’t right, is it? I heard a phrase the other day that I’m dying to use instead of a swear – ‘shut the front door!’. If you say it with enough emphasis I think it has the oomph of quite a naughty cuss 😉

  • Naomi Richards September 13, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    My children always tell me off and I don’t swear although the word idiot may come out when I am driving. That in our house is a swear word. It is hard isnt it once the words come out there is no redemption.

    • Dulwich Divorcee September 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Naomi, I do agree, we’re not keen on the word idiot either – children can be terribly harsh to each other! Unfortunately, under stress, the odd word does pop out – mind you I don’t think any of them are going to be scarred for life by the odd bit of colourful language 🙂