Oh #@%!

Tonight was my team’s Christmas dinner. Since we’d all be in the area for it, we actually went into the office today. Seeing as it’s the holidays, people are in an awfully shitty mood, and traffic was considerably more dense than normal, I was frustrated to have to actually leave the house for the 10 minute commute to the office. To anyone that didn’t really soak up the obnoxiousness of that comment, yes, I was bragging that I work from home and don’t have to deal with the every day assholes on the road. If you think this is bad, wait until February and the dead of winter when I regularly thank the powers that be that I get to sit around in sweats.

Spouses and children were invited to the dinner as well. The team members ourselves are all young, so any children were under 4 years old. Since one wife and child had a long drive from Pennsylvania, and another wife and child were hanging out in the hotel, they came into the office for a bit near the end of the day. We then found ourselves in an office the size of my living room with a pair of two year old boys running around.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. Part of me looked at it as a preview of what to expect with me working from home and Meg chasing our little shit-machine around the house. Both boys were friendly and adorable, and while I was waiting for my computer to compile, I was able to play with them.

This was especially interesting with Orlando, since he is the son of our team member Heiko, who was here visiting from Germany with his family. Orlando doesn’t yet know English, so normally difficult to understand words became an impossible challenge for me. Still, peek-a-boo transcends language and we had fun.

The biggest difficulty in the scenario had nothing to do with getting work done or keeping the kids entertained. Once the kids showed up, I quickly realized I would have to watch my language. To anyone who hasn’t spent a good amount of time with me, I have a bit of what some people would call a “potty mouth.” I didn’t realize how frequently “stuff” becomes “shit” in my vernacular. I won’t even begin to get into situations where I’m actually pissed off.

I realize I need to begin to clean this up very soon, because I don’t think it’ll be a cold turkey change over. I’m told our baby can now hear stuff in the womb. If that’s the case, my contribution to the child’s growth thus far has been roughly the words:

  • Shit
  • Damnit
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Sucks
  • Christmas Cookies
  • Little shit
  • Piece of shit
  • Our shithead neighbor
  • This shit sucks, change the channel
  • Son of a bitch
  • Is this one of your pregnancy hormone things?

This isn’t even the really bad part. As much as I don’t want the kid to be hearing this now, I’m really going to be in trouble once the kid reaches the parrot stage of child development, during which time only the most inappropriate filth to come out of my mouth is absorbed and subsequently repeated at the least opportune time.

I’m not the kind of person who believes in New Years resolutions. But this year, I think I do need to make a concerted effort to not completely screw up this kid’s vocabulary before he’s even born.


  1. The solution is simple… A google-search yields the interesting fact that there are over 6700 langauges in the world… Broaden your horizon… Learn a new, obscure language (they ALL have their version of stress relief words), & use THOSE words as expletives… Not only will you sound “educated” but using the conversions on your site will drive Nancy crazy (uh, crazier) trying to hunt down the translations.

  2. That’s an idea. I could ask Lucas for some Spanish comments, or go a bit more rare and get JJ to teach me some Polish. And since, at least according to Michelle’s last comment, those two are with child, they will both need to heed this advice as well.

  3. While it’s true that me teaching the baby some choice Polish words will alleviate being uncomfortable in most social situations, let’s think of the repurcussions when prababcia and pradziadzia come to visit… ya, talk about awkward when your one year old is cursing for toys in the grandparents’ native tongue. I’m sure there would be an interesting mix of pride and horror.

  4. I saw that Joe :) Anyhow, the expletive thing will more or less work itself out. Especially once you’re adorable child says one of them in what will undoubtedly be a large group of people, and amazingly enough even though you will have to translate for people the things your small child says, curses ALWAYS come out clear as a bell no translation necessary. I think it’s God’s way of flicking us in the ear for being so careless :) Even though the boys are older now, we’re just not in the habit of swearing at the drop of a hat anymore. It’s funny, if one of them is in trouble and we say….get the hell in here, they get rather indignant and say…”you don’t have to curse at me” they take it very personally. As it stands now, I could drop the biggen at any time, for now I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth with….
    FfFfFfFfFfFfFfFfFor cryin’ out loud! One of these days, I’ll slip and I have no doubt they will have it documented for future reference… Hey, remember that time Mom dropped “the biggen”?? :)

  5. I can definitely relate to this. Recently a good friend of mine and his wife had a baby. Prior to this, he and I sort of prided ourselves in our ability to have entire conversations using most of those seven dirty words you can’t say on television. I figured it really wouldn’t be that hard to watch my language. After all I pretty much have deleted foul language from my vocabulary at the office. I usually just use email and IM to vent foul-mouthed frustration. Meg can attest to this. In the end I find myself just staying quiet around the kid so as not to let slip the dreaded “F Bomb”

  6. Jay, I think you may be starting a bit too late on this one……………..my mother informed me last week (and I swear I am not making this up) that she has recently started to try and replace those seven words in her every day chatter with other more harmless sounding words. She said she is starting now because she doesn’t want to have a “potty mouth” around her grandchildren and she figures it will take a couple of years to clean up. :)

  7. A friend of my took her child to BK. She was sitting near some people who happen to love golf. Lets just say one of them said to the other “what’s up my N”
    2 min’s later in the car the kid said this. Moral of the story is kids are like sponges

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