Why I Watch My Fucking Mouth Around My Kids

My three year old is starting preschool today. Yeah, we’re late to the game. Most kids start in the Fall. Some start when they’re two. We really never thought we’d put her in preschool. Let her be a kid as long as she can, we thought.

But, we started to realize that she is beyond ready. She’s smart as a whip and has a beautifully outgoing personality. She gets giddy to meet new people, and is crazy eager to learn new things. I think in some ways being stuck at home most days with Mommy and Baby Sister has been torture.

Her smile was so big this morning:)

So, onto my thought. Why I watch my fucking mouth around my kids.

I have a potty mouth. I admit it. I love curse words. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself a Shakespearean insult, or high language conversation. But, I also love the expressiveness of letting out a low and slow “shit!”. But there’s some other things I choose to balance that with.

I think that, in our culture, we have lost a beautiful thing with the ediquitte of times past. Now, I’m not talking about a woman being considered a whore for putting on lipstick in public, or being gawked at for showing her ankles. I’m talking about how ediquitte reinforced and afforded everyone you encountered (including yourself) with a level of respect. Respect for simply being a human being. I think we’ve lost a lot of that.

I speak frankly here because I assume anyone reading this is an adult, and can easily choose whether or not to dedicate a few moments of their life to reading this. If a word here is offensive, I would encourage said person to move along, and find something they find more pleasant to look at.

When I am meeting someone for the first time, or am around a crowd of people with sensitive ears, I cater my language to them. Sure, I don’t have to. Some people may call bullshit on it. But just like I think that looking someone in the eye and saying “good morning” is simply a respectful thing to do, so is occasionally curbing your tongue.

It makes me sad to see little nuggets wearing shirts like “I’m not shy, I just don’t like you.” Or, “you’re ugly”, or some bullshit like that. It’s not funny. It’s teaching children to be cruel and hateful. It’s teaching them that they don’t need to be kind, or have a basic respect for their fellow humans.

The concept of being respectful is something that we have to teach our children. Making way for someone. Saying thank you. Holding a door for them. Wishing them a good day. Saying excuse me and not interrupting. Giving someone personal space. Using nice words. Giving someone the time of day. Those are all things our kiddos learn. Hey learn it first from us, their parents.

How can we expect our children to be respectful to us if we don’t treat them with respect, and without seeing us treat others with respect, as well;)

Also, my kids are just starting out in the world. The last thing I want to do as a mother is hinder their experience in the world. How will their teachers teach them differently if they don’t know how to speak nicely? How will it hinder them from making friends? These are some of the things I think about.

On the flip side, I am not naive. Doodlebug hasn’t busted out an “F” bomb yet. But I know the day will come. And, it won’t be the end of the world. We’ll have the talk about the need to use nice words. We’ll talk about appropriate language. I’ll wait till she goes to bed, and then laugh about it. I’ll dread having her teacher tell me that she’s taught “the word” to the other kids. I’ll delay that all from happening as long as I can.

And, until her vocabulary inevitably expands into the world of curse words, I will continue to do my best to watch my mouth, and use nice words around her. Just like I expect her to do:) Because, I want her to rock this world, and not be held back by anything!

  

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Let Us Not Forget the Cool Shit About Being an Adult

As grown ups, we often make snarky remarks about how we wish our kids realized how lucky they have it. We bathe them, cook for them, feed them, clothe them, play with them, push them around in shopping carts and strollers. Hell, we even wipe their asses. And more often than not, they just don’t seem to get how awesome that is of us.

But, seriously, they’re kids. They don’t know it any other way. I consider myself lucky that my three year old is an all around happy girl, and I hear her say “thank you” all the time without being prompted. Makes my heart swell with pride every time I hear it. She bounces with excitement any time she receives a gift, and seems genuinely grateful, no matter what it is.

But, anytime we do have a frustrating day, I try and make myself think about how hard kids really can have it. They have next to no control over their daily lives. How confusing it must be to them when we encourage every new milestone, every new word, every first step, when they are babies, only to be met with “don’t run!”, “don’t touch that!”, “not so loud!” as soon as they reach toddlerhood.
I try to keep all this in mind, and give my girl as many choices as I can. Within reason, of course.

 I also try to make sure she has an outlet for things. Now that she has a seven month old sister, she hears me telling her on a daily basis that we have to be quiet so that we don’t wake up Stella. No doubt she gets tired of hearing it. Sometimes as soon as Stella is up, I ask Sofia to give me the biggest dinosaur roar she can muster.

A big grin will spread across her face as she yawps out a mighty “RRRrroooaaaaarrrrrrrRRR!!!!”

If it’s bedtime and I can’t seem to get her pajamas on because she has so much nervous energy she may as well be tapping out a Fred Astaire routine, sometimes I’ll just stop, take a deep breath, and give her a minute. I’ll tell her I need her to wiggle as much as she can. Hubs and I will clap and yell “wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!” as she shimmies around. When she’s finally done we give getting dressed another go. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn’t. 

And, while keeping an empathetic mind on the frustrations of our children, let us also keep in check our attitudes toward adulthood.

I know. I know. Waking up to an alarm every day to go to a frustrating job, or to deal with all the ups and downs of being a homemaker, can be a real killjoy sometimes. Paying bills sucks. Dealing with traffic sucks. Hell, just having to be a responsible adult is often quite a downer. We worry about our present. We worry about our future. Sometimes we worry about our past.

And, it’s all valid. There’s a lot of shit to worry about, stress about, and obsess about as a grown up.

To soften the blow of that reality, here’s a couple of things that make adulthood not so shitty.

1. Wine. Or beer. Or rum. Whatever your flavor. Having a nice, relaxing drink. Damn, it’s good.

2. Sex. Doesnt really seem like that needs more explanation.

3. You can eat what you want. And, you don’t have to eat what you don’t want to. Generally, there’s no one haggling over how many bites of broccoli you’ve taken. If you’re feeling particularly sassy, you can even have dessert for dinner. Or breakfast! 

4. You can drive. Sure. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. But, you can do it. You don’t have to negotiate with your mom over chores so that she’ll give you a ride to hang out with your friends. 

5. You can watch (and read) whatever the hell you want. (Granted, you often have to wait until the nuggets are asleep.) You can have a Rambo marathon, or watch twenty hours of Battlestar Galactica, or watch Showgirls. You can spend weeks doing nothing but reading your favorite trade paperbacks. No one gives a shit. You don’t need anyone’s permission.

6. You pick what you wear. Most days I’ll let Sofia pick from two things to wear. If she gets no choice, she may complain and try to refuse to get dressed. If she has too many options she can’t focus or make up her mind. Then when Mommy decides on an outfit it will inevitably be the one thing she refuses to wear.

Within the unavoidable limit of budget, grown ups dress themselves however the hell they want to. I get in a rut sometimes and don’t think about that. When you’re a grown up, every day can be dress up day. I can wear a fancy dress, or live in yoga pants for days on end.

Now I just need to figure out who to talk to about making some of the kids clothes I find in adult sizes;)

7. In addition to what you wear, you’re In charge of you’re own appearance. I can wear red lipstick if I’m feeling sassy. I can highlight my hair. I can pierce my nose. I can get a tattoo. I can shave my head, or dye my hair green. I can wear flip flops in January, or knee high boots in June. I can do whatever the hell I want. It’s pretty sweet.

The list could go on and on. But, in short, grown ups can do what they want, eat what they want, drink what they want, wear what they want, have a dog if they want, take a vacation to Paris, or ComicCon. Whatever the hell they want. Not too shabby. 

Of course, this is not to minimize the frustrations we feel. Or the circumstances that can limit us. But, we should all try and remember the good stuff on the days when we’re being little bitches, and take it all in stride;)

  

  

A Quote For Today

Time to read is about as rare as snowfall in central Texas these days. Also, I’m a fairly slow reader. As much as I adore to delve into a good book, the journey tends to take me a while. But, I still try and devote time to it whenever I can find a minute. 

  

I recently picked up a copy of Bohemian Paris by Dan Franck. As I snuggled up in bed and opened the book to the preface, I was met with this beautiful beginning:

“A world without art would be blind to itself. It would be confined within the boundaries imposed by simplistic rules. This is why totalitarian regimes, when they rise to power, set out to censor, prohibit and burn. This is how they destroy ideas, dreams, memory, and the expression of differences, which are the fertile soil from which artists spring.”

Love it.

Not only does it remind me to be so incredibly grateful for the freedoms I have, but it is a lovely reminder that art can gift a wonderful reflection of life, and change of perspective. 

It makes me itch to pick up a paintbrush again. But, for now I will be patient and cuddle my snuggly Squeaker.

  

A Great Day

I had a great day with my girls.

As a stay at home mom, I freely admit that I have an incredibly hard time balancing my responsibilities. I feel like I don’t really have to expound on that. Y’all feel me.

But, this morning I decided. I just wanted to hang out with my girls. After breakfast we watched some cartoons while we ever-so-slowly got dressed for the day. Halfway through, my five month old nugget fell asleep in my lap. Instead of freaking out about the time, or worrying about how much I need to get her used to sleeping in her crib, I just chilled while she slept. In hindsight, I don’t really think it made a damn bit of difference that we watched one more Paw Patrol. Except, that I got some exceptional cuddles, and my three year old was pretty stoked about her cartoon.

After somehow managing to put eyeliner on with a wiggly baby in my lap, we loaded up into the car and drove to our neighborhood park. Doodlebug was super stoked that there was another little girl to play with. The little one’s grandma made a passing comment that I resembled Snow White, and my head swelled to three times its normal size.

While Squeaker snuggled up in her car seat where I could keep an eye on her, I climbed the playscape and roared down the curly slide with Doodlebug a few times. After getting Sofia going nice and high on her swing, I hopped onto the one next to her.

If adults spent a bit more time playing at playgrounds too, I think the world may be a better place.

After playing we had leftovers for lunch, and then Quiet Time. This daily ritual in our house came about when Doodlebug started striking against naps, and we realized that without some downtime our evenings were incredibly grumpy and trying. So, she plays in her room for a while every day. No tv. No distractions. Just her, and her imagination.

After that, I decided on popcorn and a movie. We usually reserve popcorn for those rarest occasions when Sofia actually does, by some miracle, take a nap. But today, I thought, what the hell. I want popcorn.

We made a pillow pile in the middle of the living room. While Stella gurgled and rolled around, Sofia and I watched ParaNorman.

There’s a reason that watching that particular movie was especially awesome today. Sofia fell in love with it when she was about two years old. For the longest time we would watch it almost every day. And honestly, I never got tired of it. Around the time she turned three it seemed like out of nowhere she was suddenly terrified of so many things. ParaNorman included. I missed it.

Our pediatrician insists that having sudden fear of so many things is a completely normal phase. But what makes me so proud of Sofia is how we can tell that when she does become frightened of something, she tries to find a way to work through it.

I could tell she was nervous when we first started the movie. She even suggested a couple of times that we watch it later instead. But, I kept it playing. Afterward she told me how much she loved it, and that she wants to watch it all the time now.

It made me so happy.

Then we went on a walk and I pushed Stella in her stroller while Sofia trailed behind us on her bike. We got back to the house around the same time as hubs and went inside for dinner.

Despite my promise to myself that I wouldn’t worry about the house or chores today, I definitely got frazzled this evening when it was time to get ready for bed and all I could see around me was things that needed to be picked up or cleaned. But, tomorrow I can worry again about the laundry, and the floors. 

I’m really glad I had today.

   
 

Dear Blog, I Didn’t Forget About You

What’s been up:

Not much time available to sit in front of my computer to ponder the meaning of life these days. No need. My five month old, three and a half year old, and husband remind me of it on a daily basis. Even on our roughest days my last thoughts before slipping off to a restless sleep next to my nursing babe is how much I love my family.

The last few months have passed in a blink of the eye. I feel like I work hard every day to end it with a bigger to do list than I began with. But, it’s ok. Sure, I get frustrated that it takes a full week sometimes to put away a load of laundry. But, I’m happy.

The first couple of months following my Stella’s birth were the normal rounds of beautiful chaos comprised of visitors, doctor’s appointments, and adjusting to adding a new squeaky addition to our family. Poor nugget suffered from some pretty severe GERD. Thanks to our patient and attentive pediatrician, we found a dosage of medicine to keep her out of pain. A complete difference of night and day! This baby easily spends the majority of her wakeful hours with a gigantic grin on her face:) (Pitter-patter my heart!)

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I’m constantly baffled by how grown up Number 1 is these days. She is an absolutely fabulous big sister. She deals with the frustration of sharing mine and her daddy’s attention, as any kid does. But, she dotes on Squeaker in such a fantastic way. She’s a bit scared to hold her, but she goes out of her way every day to try ad make her smile. These two will be unstoppable when they’re older!

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Halloween is a big event for the Pippin family each year. And, I think this year was our most amazing yet. For months and months before Halloween Sofia had been asking to be the cat bus from Totoro. I honestly have no idea how I managed it with a newborn, but she got her wish. It was worth every tired, frustrated, and determined stitch to see her glow with happiness when she finally got to wear her costume on Halloween:) The whole family joined in on the Totoro fun, and we had a splendid night.

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With Halloween passed, and Thanksgiving over in a flash, we are in full Christmas mode. Sofia’s newest obsession is The Nightmare Before Christmas. I, obviously, approve. I dusted off my old glass ornaments and handed them down to her this year, and made a Jack Skellington tree topper with a bit of paint and an old ornament. Our days are whizzing by as we bake holiday cookies and await Christmas.

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Writing makes me chill, so I will be making an extra effort to giving a bit more attention to it. Hopefully my blog will not go on so neglected.

Cheers.

Sometimes I Just Get Pissed Off

No. This is not a rant about my kids. Trust me. My week has had its ups and downs, but I have no complaints. I love my life.

Sometimes I just get pissed off. I get angry about things around me. Mostly things I can’t control. Sometimes it just feels like the world is filled up with a bunch of fucked up.

All the stuff that gets me riled up is most evident online. It saturates the news feeds. It hides in the veiled racism. It screams from the open misogyny. It blares from the blatant self righteousness that seems to ooze out of every corner of the internet. It makes me want to scream.

But, I won’t.

Today I’ve decided that I’m going to do something else instead. I’m going to light a candle. I am not a religious person. But, I believe in the human spirit. And, I believe in the positive effect of meditation, even if it’s just for me.

Today I light my candle for so many things:

For anyone who has a good heart, and is earnestly trying to be a servant of the public, I light this candle for you.

For anyone who has ever been a victim of the abuse of power, I light this candle for you.

For anyone who has ever been mistreated because of their race (whatever race), I light this candle for you.

For anyone who has been mistreated because of their sexual orientation, I light this candle for you.

For anyone who is told that they are “less than” because they are a woman, you are not. And, I light this candle for you.

For anyone who has been tormented because of their beliefs that bring no harm to others, I light this candle for you.

For anyone who has lost their lives or loved ones trying to fight for a better world for their children, I light this candle for you.

For those who are hardened with self righteousness, may your heart soften instead with love. I light this candle for you.

For those who would bring harm to others because they are “different”, may your heart fill with peace and acceptance. I light this candle for you.

For those who are soured with prejudice, may your heart sweeten instead with love. I light this candle for you.

For those who burn with hate, may your heart cool with overwhelming peace. I light this candle for you.

For everyone being a better version of themselves.

For peace.

For love.

For hope.

May this world be a better place for our children.

May we be better people for our children.

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