Sure, my language is bad but my smile is killer.
I’ve been quiet despite promising myself that I would write here more. This is because of work, family events, and general laziness but now it's a Sunday on a bank holiday weekend. It’s only 3pm and I have already taken a nap while still in my pyjamas. I've no excuse.
My son did not inherit the gene that requires you to stay in your jim-jams one day a week. Yesterday morning he was up with his teeth brushed and jersey on before the alarm sounded. Like, he was ready to leave the house and to go to GAA practice at 7.14am. I'm not ready to commit to my name at that time of the morning, let alone a sports team.
He did inherit a few things from me, though. My big, square smile and freckles across the nose; my over-enthusiasm for anything lovely; my love of dancing in the kitchen to music that is too loud for Gareth; my bad mouth. I didn’t say the c-word until I was 13 ('Crap', guys. I didn't say the word 'crap'), but since moving here my bad to good language ratio is woefully equal.
I’m not sure how we got away with it for so long, but you could curse in front of James as a toddler and he wouldn’t repeat it back to you. We've never really had that giggle as he said something really rude. It happened once, very quickly, when he nearly fell off of the kitchen island, but "shitshitshitshit" was never repeated again after that. This is obviously down to our stellar parenting, especially when you consider that my kid was sitting on the edge of the kitchen island unsupervised and came close to smacking the ground with his face.
Recently, though, when he is annoyed with himself, he’ll let out a 'damn it'.
"I forgot to ask Nicholas what he wants for his birthday. Damn it!"
"Damn it, I left my lightsaber upstairs." (As you do.)
"Ugh, damn it, these LEGOs come apart."
I have been informed that neither 'damn it' nor 'hell' are considered curse words in Ireland, but I still think hearing them out of a child's mouth is unsavoury, even if he is using it in proper context and only when appropriate. I know my distaste is because of my puritan upbringing over the Atlantic, where we try to control language and the way girls dress. I can't help but thinking swearing gives you the impression that the child comes from a household where there are spare car parts in the front yard and believe dinosaurs are the imagined creation of liberals. Also, my mother would absolutely kill me if we were the the US in June and he flung a 'damn it' out onto the table one morning over pancakes. Not only would he get my bad mouth and freckles, but also my inheritance.
So, I've tried to stifle his urge to use the expletive. I've given him alternatives, I've given him ultimatums, I've given up. It's not the f-word, and just because I didn't swear as a kid doesn’t mean that regulating James's language will prevent him from calling some kid a cunt (the proper c-word, guys) when he gets to secondary school. We just have to hope he uses it correctly and in context.