Thursday, June 29, 2006

Who Needs a Swear Jar, Damnit?

I curse a lot.

It's not a conscious thing. I don't do it to be cool or as a form of expression. Words that offend a large portion of society are just part of my vocabulary. (Some would argue that offensiveness is also part of my personality, but let's not go there.) And in my defense I mostly only curse when I am angry.

I have always made it a point to "watch my mouth" when I am around children. When it comes to kids, I guess I view cursing kind of like drinking or playing the lottery. You're not allowed to do it until you are 18 or 21, but almost all kids try both before they are allowed to. Sometimes the parents allow them to, but they really shouldn't until they are adults. When a child is still learning to talk and he utters something inappropriate he overheard, it is very hard not to laugh--even when you know full well laughing will just encourage the behavior.

Kate and I are trying to raise Jack to be polite and verbally inoffensive, so we are both trying to not curse around him and failing miserably. We have to keep reminding ourselves that even though he is very small, his ears are picking up everything we say and his brain is soaking up everything.

Oh, and for those of you that have an angelic impression of Kate that she would never call someone a M----F-----er (rhymes with Brother Trucker), think again. In her defense, though, it is probably my fault that she has the occasional foul mouth that she does. When we first starting going out, the absolute strongest language that escaped her lips was angrily naming someone a "Bughead." And then I came along. Talking to people that knew Kate before we started dating made me realize that I was a bit of a corrupting influence.

We want to try very hard to not have this influence on Jack. I don't want him to grow up and be a prude, mind you, but I would rather let society corrupt him and not me. Kate and I were having one of those important parent talks the other day when the subject of our swearing arose. (I believe it did so after she let something slip.) We started discussing the merits of having a swear jar, into which money would be put every time we cursed.

In the midst of our conversation, Kate said something grammatically incorrect. I will be the first to admit that my grammar is not perfect--just read this blog. But I am the type of person that appreciates it when someone corrects my grammar, or points out a better way I could expressed myself. Kate does not. She despises it when I correct her. So you can imagine that she did not take my suggestion of putting a Grammar Jar next to the swear jar too well. As a matter of fact, it made her so mad that she already owes the swear jar money. She then decided that if I am going to point out when she needs to make a Grammar Jar deposit, that we need a Jerk Jar for me. She then pointed out the impracticality of her idea by suggesting that I do not make enough money to fund a Jerk Jar--implying that I am mean to her quite a bit. I reasoned, then, that if there is a Jerk Jar, it is only fair if there is a Bitch Jar. Kate's response? "You owe the Swear Jar and the Jerk Jar for that comment."

In the end, we decided to have just the Swear Jar and forget the other nastiness.

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