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“Screw it!” (She said in front of her kids…)

January 30, 2011

HELLO World! I’m back! I won’t get into why I suddenly evaporated into thin air a few months. It’s not important in the grand scheme of things. But life sometimes gets in the way and that’s what happened in my case. Lots of crazy, freaky shit (some of which you wouldn’t believe. No… really. LOL!) happened since June or so, but I pushed through it and life is once again manageable. I’m great. Steve’s great. Steve and I as a team are great (as we always have been). And the kids are great. That’s all that matters, so let’s move along, shall we?

Tonight we’re going to talk about how we raise our kids. And by “we,” I mean me and Steve. I, frankly, don’t give a rat’s ass how YOU raise YOUR kids unless it directly affects MY kids on a regular basis. Otherwise, rock on with your bad self. Seriously. I don’t care. At all.

Steve and I came into our current parenting style after many years of trial and error. We all know how it is… You get pregnant and have a baby and you read every damn parenting book you can get your hands on. You follow it to the tee and you judge others who don’t follow the same philosophy you do. You cluck your tongue at other parents and think (or say), “Oh my god. They are horrible parents. How dare she bottle feed/breast feed their beautiful, precious child!” Whatever. [eye roll] (And for the record, I bottle-fed both of my children since day 1 and am perfectly fine with that and dare you to judge me for it…)

I’ve come to learn over the past 10 years, that that whole way of thinking is just total bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. All situations are different. All families are different. And all kids are different. To try to pigeon-hole all kids and parents into one train of thought is just ridiculousness at its best. Pure, unadulterated stupidity. Because no one has the right to judge someone else. Unless your throwing your kids into a car and not buckling them in (one of the few things I won’t waiver on), I don’t give a rat’s ass how your family dynamics work. I don’t care if you co-sleep with your children at age 13 or still wipe their asses (literally) when they’re 10-years-old (although I do think that would be weird) or treat them like they’re the king and/or queen in your house and revolve your entire life around them (which I also find unhealthy and damaging in the long run, but that’s neither here nor there. To each his own…). As long as they’re mentally and physically healthy, I figure it’s up to each family to figure out how to make it work. Not my kids? Then it’s not my problem. I’ve found that most people love their children and want what’s best for them. Most parents have found the balance they need to raise healthy, happy kids. My balance may not be your balance and vice versa. It’s all good.

Now back to me and Steve. Because that’s what we’re supposed to be talking about here…

We curse in front of our girls. [insert audible gasps here…] Hell, I’ve been known to curse AT them… (“Son of a bitch, Hannah! What the hell are you doing?!?!”… or “Grace, why are you being such an asshole to your sister?!?!”) Steve and I have friends over all the time and when all of us are in a room, we talk the exact same way we’d talk if no kids were around. That includes curse words, insulting each other (jokingly), and being total idiots. On more than one occasion (like a billion), an adult has been here and dropped an F-bomb in front of the kids or said “shit” or “damn” or “asshole” or whatever and then looked at us with a panic-stricken face and said, “Oh my god! I’m so sorry.” I’m always confused at first when this happens. There I sit, thinking, “Sorry for what? What did you do? Because unless you just drank my last beer or broke some expensive thing in my home, you have nothing to apologize for.” And then I realize that they’re apologizing for cursing in front of my kids. The light bulb goes on in my head and I think, “Ohhhhh….” And then I just start laughing. Because I realize that in most homes, that’s frowned upon. But here, it’s not something we even think about. I mean, we don’t encourage it or anything, but if it happens, it isn’t even something we think about or panic over or freak out about.

My girls think it’s HILARIOUS when I jokingly flip them off. That’s right folks… I give my kids the bird. And it’s always guaranteed to cause fits of hideous laughter. I’ll say, “Hey Hannah! Look here!” and she’ll look and I’ll flip her off and she’ll fall on the floor laughing. Because it IS funny, dammit. Hannah runs to Grace whispering, “Grace! Mom just stuck her middle finger up! Baahaahaaa!” Snort! Admit it, it’s funny…

I listen (loudly) to Eminem with my kids in the room. And they know the words to most of the songs (and others like his). God knows there are inappropriate things in there, but I’m OK with that. That’s just how we roll here. And I’m OK with that.

Here’s the thing though… my kids don’t curse. Ever. Never ever. They know what words are considered “bad words” and they just don’t say them. Ever. They wouldn’t dream of it (because we will punish them in ways they can’t imagine). It’s not an option and if it happens, they will pay the price. One time (after years of hearing words like “shit” and “hell” and “ass” and…yes… “fuck”), Grace said to me, “Hey Mom, is it OK if I say the word C-R-A-P?” That’s right…. she spelled out the word “crap” because she didn’t want to say it and get in trouble. LOL!

My kids kick ass. They’re both straight A students (except for one B this marking period that was only one point away from an A)… They’re polite… They say please and thank you… They respect other people… And they’re both kind-hearted souls who are GOOD to each other and other people. We get complimented all of the time about what good kids they are. They can sit in a room of all adults and hold intelligent conversations for hours at a time without being rude or a bother or just plain annoying. And whether you want to admit it or not, some kids are just plain annoying and a pain in the ass… “Mommy… hold me!”… “Daddy, my finger hurts!”… “Mommy and Daddy, why aren’t you playing with me?!?”… [SMACK!!!! Go away and let your parents hold adult conversations, dammit!] My kids can sit in a room of adults and you will either not even realize they’re there or they’ll actually contribute to the conversation. If they aren’t interested, they walk away and find something else to do, without making a scene or begging for our attention or annoying the living crap out of the adults in the room. We encourage our adult friends to have conversations with them in the room that they would have even if the kids weren’t there (within reason of course). I want my kids to hear things that grown ups talk about and ask us questions if they have them. And I’m often surprised that my kids contribute in a way that I never expected them to. I think that’s a good thing.

And we’re a close family. We all hug and kiss all the time. The four of us often (like several times a week) sit on one couch together and watch American Idol or Glee or whatever and laugh and joke and hang out (while all being squished to within an inch of our lives on that one couch, but that’s OK). We support each other. We praise each other. We lift each other up and generally really enjoy being together. We’ve found what works for us.

My point is that you shouldn’t judge us based on casual things I mention (like the fact that we curse in front of our kids or that they have things like iTouches and DS’s and TVs and are allowed to be on the computer whenever they want to). You don’t know us. You aren’t in our home when no one else is around when we’re all hanging out. You don’t see us several nights a week when one kid is on my lap and the other kid is on Steve’s lap and we’re all watching TV together and laughing and joking at commercials and snuggling and kissing and hugging. You don’t realize that when the kids are here, they are VERY rarely farther than 10 feet from either Steve and/or I and that even if we’re all doing our own thing at the time, we’re very well aware that everyone else is only a few feet away and there if we need them.

So although I’m not encouraging anyone to start randomly yelling “FUCK!” in front of kids not used hearing it (because that would be inappropriate on my part and a real embarrassment on your part when your kid goes to daycare and teaches it the other kids because he/she never heard it before and wants to tell his/her friend about “the new word” he/she learned), I do encourage you all to stop judging other parents and assuming things based on what you’ve heard. Because I guarantee you that 99.9% of the time, you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about in terms of that particular family. (And yes, I’d say that in front of my kids. Because my kids rule and would know not to repeat it…)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2011 11:46 AM

    Actually, my kids do repeat it it. It was cute when they were little and it happened every now and again by accident. Now that we have entered the teen years with a six year old draggin up the rear – it’s not so great. So we have the swear cup. You say the word, you put money in the cup. And guess who polices it the most? That’s right, the kids do. The husband every now and again loves to set them off by telling a story about some asshole he has had to deal with that day at work. But I am not judging because whatever the fuck works with your family is ok as long as your shit doesn’t fall into my house. (hee, hee)

  2. mary m permalink
    January 30, 2011 1:40 AM

    We swear in front of our kids too. More than I really feel comfortable with. And like you, occasionally it’s directed at them “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” “I already asked, pick your shit up now!” ect… But they don’t swear. Other than once or twice when they were little (like 2-3 yr old) and said it without realizing…Now it’s well established what they can or cannot say 😉 The last thing that was an issue was that Jake was pronouncing cinnamon as “semen” we haven’t had an issue on purpose…

    So stick with it. Parent how you think you should!

    • January 30, 2011 2:34 AM

      LMAO Mary at the whole cinnamon/semon thing! That’s just some funny shit right there. LOL! Anyway, yeah, I have no intention of messing with our dynamic. I’ve just had some comments/looks lately that prompted me to get this out there. You don’t KNOW us (and in some cases, you don’t know our kids), so don’t judge us. Don’t even THINK about it, actually. Because I will prove you wrong. Over and over again, I will prove you wrong. Our family may be dysfunctional in terms of what people THINK it should be, but if you’re around us, you’ll realize that we kick some serious family ass and are quite happy and loving. And in my mind, that’s all that matters. 🙂

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