I am Swearing-Mum

Last night, my Mini-Me said her first proper swear word.

Jeeeeeesus anyway,” she announced as she sat on the toilet.

Now, I know that children will copy what they hear, and I’m quite able to admit that I am no stranger to the odd expletive, but as a family, we do try not to use bad language in front of the kiddies.

Obviously, at some point, we’ve failed.

swearing kid

Not only did she pronounce “Jesus” quite beautifully; She used it in the same context that a grown up might.  She was frustrated (still no poopoo!). She was trying hard and getting nowhere.  She was exasperated and she knew exactly how to express it!

She also knew that it wouldn’t be acceptable, because those pretty blue eyes immediately darted to my face to see how I would react.  She was challenging Mammy.

We’ve been here before.  The first time she ventured into Bad-word-land was with “Shup-up”.  My reaction to that was an automatic scold.  “No!  We do not say Shut-up to Mammy.  That is not nice!”

The result? “Shuppy-up” is what she now reverts to if she wants to push Mummy’s patience.

This time, I was armed and ready. I did what any clever parent would do. I did the opposite of last time. I pretended it hadn’t happened and continued talking about Mr. Poopoo needing to go for a swim.

Not getting the reaction she wanted, she said it again…this time, more slowly and dramatic. (A born actress I tell you.)


This time, I decided to take the bait, but on my terms.

Yes Honey! You saw Baby Jesus in the crib at Christmas! Aren’t you a clever girl?

This wasn’t what she’d anticipated in her brilliant toddler mind, but it seemed to work.  She began to talk about Christmas and Santa and her pretty dress and her Christmas Tree.  And so, I thought I’d won.


I thought that I’d done well.  I thought I was clever. I thought I’d distracted her and had taught her how to use the word properly. I’d turned the word back into what it is, rather than allowing it the status of swear-word.

That ‘Supernanny‘ doll should move into my house to see how it’s done.  I have it.  I’m in charge.

Smug and quite delighted with myself, I carried on with my evening. Husband would be so proud of how I dealt with the situation.  I’d be admired by friends with toddlers when I told them how to deal with their little Darling’s attempts to use bad words.  I might even win a prize of some sort.  I’d start giving lectures to parents on “Expletives and Toddlers: how to survive.”

Then I woke up.

Princess was throwing a strop.  She pulled off her Elsa dress and was screaming about her Tinkerbell Dress.  Whatever she wanted, I obviously wasn’t doing it.  It was one of those tantrums that began over virtually nothing and resulted in fire-alarm pitch screaming and stomping. She stormed into the hall…and suddenly, all of my smugness dissappeared…


So, not only had I NOT dealt with this situation properly, I had given the little genius a way out.  A safe pass.  A golden ticket.  At only three years old, she had manipulated me and my words. What I’d actually done, was teach her how to use it, without getting into trouble.

I was gunked.  My jaw actually hit the floor.  I listened to hear if she’d say anything else.  She didn’t. She was waiting to hear my reaction.  She’s still waiting, because although I actually snorted with laughter, she didn’t hear me.  A few minutes later, she popped her pretty head around the corner. I carried on as if nothing had happened.

I know some people will be disgusted.  I know I shouldn’t have laughed.  I know it’s terrible that a child is able to use language like this.  But I also know, that sometimes, laughing is all we can do.

I’m not a psychologist.  I’m not a child specialist.  I’m not a genius.

I’m a mum.   I’m a mum who, once upon a time, thought smugly that my little girl would NEVER behave like that.  I’m a mum who is learning every single day. I’m a mum who will sometimes just laugh, because really, what other option do I have?

On a positive note, she’s learning. She’s testing boundaries.  She’s experimenting with language.  She’s establishing her little self in the grand scheme of things. And every day, I “Thank Jesus” that she can!

I am Swearing-Mum x


Seething Mum

Symbols are simple.  The reason we use symbols is to avoid misunderstanding. They transcend languages and general capabilities, allowing for easy communication.  Universally, red means stop and green means go.  We know which toilet to use because of the shape of the symbol on the door.  We can understand symbols on road signs, on advertisements, on everything.  But there is a verrrrrry special breed of person who has great difficulty in understanding a certain symbol…the parent and baby parking symbol.


This one seems to cause great confusion.

Yesterday, I witnessed a seemingly fit and healthy 20-something male, bounce from his car and pop into a local supermarket.  There were plenty parking spaces in the massive car park.  The weather was perfect for a little amble from car to shop door.

He had absolutely no sign of child in his well kept VW Golf and he wasn’t pregnant, as far as I could tell anyway.  And yet, he felt the need to park in the space.

Now, maybe he wasn’t taught symbolism very well in school.  Or, maybe he was taught it too well by one of those wonderfully talented teachers who taught him how to see hidden meaning and to think outside the box.  In  this case, the box is the very clearly lined parking space, and his metaphorical musings probably allowed him to interpret the blatant symbol as “a space for people who hope to one day have sex and make a baby in the future, so save your energy for the action and don’t walk unless you have to.”  

Or maybe, he’s just a plank.

Either way, I followed him, tutting disapproval and shaking my head.  He saw me.  He carried on, probably wondering why the crazy lady was glowering at him. I was angry. I was furious and I was quite happy to let him know it.

But, I didn’t.

He upped his speed and moved away from my disapproving glares as fast as his non swollen ankles could carry him. And I carried on into the shop, getting over the episode by the time I reached the meat section.

Then, I returned to my car.  Non-pregnant man’s car was still in the parking space. Another car had just parked in the one beside it and out popped a middle aged lady and probably her daughter.  Now, granted these spaces are reserved for Parent and Child, but when your child is in her late teens, you’re taking it a bit too far!

As I reached my own car, I saw a young mum.  Younger than me.  She had a  toddler hanging onto her leg as she tried to get her young baby out of its car-seat.  She was flustered.  She was soothing baby and agreeing with toddler, all in one breath.  She was trying to balance children and handbag. And she was a good 500 yards from the trolley bay.  I finished putting my groceries into my boot and pushed my trolley towards her.

Here you are love.  Take mines,” I said.

She paused,  looked at me and then at the trolley, and the relief washed over her face as she realized that this would instantly make her life a whole lot easier.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

Of course I am.  Here, take it.  It’ll save me walking back over with it anyway!” I sang.

Hang on til I get you the euro” – cue panic to find the zip of the handbag and frantic rummaging for the purse.

It’s ok Missus.  Honestly, just take the trolley!”

She stopped in her tracks.

Oh my God, you’re so kind!” she said, almost as a question. She seemed pretty baffled, maybe even suspicious. What kind of crazy lady would just give her a trolley, with no catch? One who’s been there.  That’s who.

“Thank you” she said, as toddler settled into the trolley, shouting “Push Mammeeeeee, puuuuush!”

You’re welcome! See ya” I smiled back.

I got into my car, feeling all good and nice.  Being nice is nice.  It feels nice.  It costs nothing…well, OK, in this case €1. But to that Supermum, it was worth a whole lot more than that.

And Karma works in mysterious ways.  To Mr. NOT PREGNANT and to all the other metaphorical symbol interpreters who see those parking spots as free for all, Karma is always watching. I hope that when it bites you on the ass, it leaves a big red bite-mark.


So I was Seething-mum; seething that some people can be so inconsiderate and so self-involved.  But afterwards, I was also Smug-mum.  Because I chose to be nice and that’s enough for me.

S-Mum x