Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Baby steps

Accountability time.

Lily has been a horrible napper and sleeper lately, mostly because she is trying to pull up all on her own and her crib provides the perfect venue to hone those skills. So she wakes up a little, sees all those inviting bars, scoots over, invariably exhausts and frustrates herself, all the while shouting that despite the obvious late hour, she should be awake and with the family, darn it! (The family who is desperately trying to sleep...okay, the family of which three of the remaining four are sleeping blissfully away while the fourth - guess who - shoves a pillow over her head muttering 'dear God, it's three a.m., go back to sleep, go back to sleep' before having to intervene and pull said baby off the sides of the crib.)

She's also teething.

All work and no sleep make mommy far less inclined to keep her sailor mouth in check.

It's not that I swear with any real meaning behind it. It's just that I wind up using expletives to somehow round out my sentences in all kinds of situations, regardless if that's the coffee maker malfunctioning (please, God, do not let the coffee maker malfunction) or two girls fighting over one of the approximate 7,000 Little People figures that seem to breed whenever my back is turned.

It's not good, especially since Anna is a little myna bird who is far too inclined to follow me around and chirp things like, 'Why you say dat, Mama? Why you say damn?'

Then I have to say 'We don't say that, Anna, that's not a nice word!' and be a great big hypocrite.

I've been trying to stop, but failing, and the lack of sleep isn't helping, so today I decided it was time. I was going to clean up my language once and for all. After all, I can certainly not curse. I manage to hold it together at church, formal family functions, Mommy and Me classes, so holding back in front of my family and close friends would just require a bit more effort.


I forgot about my promise about two minutes into the day. So I set goals for myself. Simple goals.

'It's eleven a.m.,' I told myself, as we pulled away from Play and Music, both Anna and Lily fussing over something and a giant truck parked directly behind me, making leaving frustrating to the max. 'You can not say anything inappropriate for an hour. Go.'

I made it 45 minutes.

The next hour was better. I made it the whole hour, and hour after that. Between 2 and 3 p.m. I believe I let out a 'hell.' Oops.

After 3 p.m. the baby had not napped well, the older girls were being loud and it was still two and a half hours until Tim would walk through the door. It's still raining and the house was beginning to take on that rainy day damp smell, so I lit a candle. I turned my back for one second and turned around to see Mary - who knows better, and the only one tall enough to conceivably even touch the shelf where the candle stood - reaching for the jar.

I - almost - forgot about my goal.


She stopped. She seemed genuinely perplexed that I would not want her to play with a lit candle. And this is mere hours, coincidentally, after our fire safety talk (brought about by a passing fire truck on the way to school).

Well, I'm getting better.

Of course as I type this, Anna came up wailing at the top of her lungs that Mary wasn't sharing (a wooden spoon) and Mary came dancing up to announce 'I HIDED THE SPOON!" in a sing-song voice. And the baby tried to crawl down the only stair we have in the house.


I see a lot more 'HEL-CK's 'DA-amm-i-mean-rn's and possibly a 'f-u-u-PHEASANT' or two as I try to work this out when I can't even send them out to play.

Baby steps.


  1. I struggle with this same issue, and everyday I say I will try to do better and not slip and use "bad words" and everyday I fail. Oh well, no one said we had to be perfect parents. I figure I will stop swearing when i'm old and suffer from the worst case of dementia.

  2. i use "fudge" and "sugar" with varied success.