What’s with the baby talk with everything in my life now? 

I love a good swear word. Especially in the heat of the moment, when no other word can deliver that all-important feeling of anger and you just come out with it. A big juicy “fuck off,” and it feels like you’ve won the argument, even if you haven’t, you feel like you’ve earned your part in this ridiculous argument that originally started out as ‘what takeaway do you want.’ When I was little, swearing was a huge no-no. My mother never swore and nor did she ever want us to, whatever our age. But as I grew up, I became inclined to find a word that would express some sort of emotion without having to say very much and throughout my twenties, I started swearing more and more.

Since Emily was born, I’ve been a little bit more careful with what I say. The days of swearing a lot are now limited. I watch out for words, I try and avoid certain words or phrases and I get really paranoid about swearing in front of her and end up whispering it or spelling it out. Before I used to really kinda like swearing. Pretty much every second word was some form of swear word of some sort, naughty isn’t it? If it wasn’t “bugger,” it was “shit,” or “oh crap,” or something similar, sometimes the occasional “for fuck sake” would make an appearance there too. But now with Emily, even though she is very little, I’m more wary of what I say. I’m worried that her first word will end up being a swear word because it so easy to happen, to let something slip out, without a thought and that will be her first word. Sam loves a bit of a swear word. In actual fact, I’m pretty sure all of his work colleagues would say it’s a natural habit for him to a swear like a madman at work.

Is it because Emily is around me that I notice what I say? The swearing, the “if’s,” or the “buts,” I don’t know, but since I’ve had Emily, gone are the days that I talk like an actually human, now it’s all “hello my little poo bum,” or “what’s up with your hair Betty Spaghetti?” I’ve managed to swap talking, well, normal and changed it for some preschool nonsense Mr. Tumble would be ashamed of. Thing is, Emily is of an age where she could kind of understand certain things and I don’t want her to be around it, same as I wouldn’t want another adult to swear around her. Now that I’m more wary of it, I’m prone to notice what I say around other children too. I remember once a few years back, that I swore, in front of my niece who naturally repeated the word, and then got a very big telling off from my sister, even though it was my fault and not hers. But she didn’t know that she just followed what Aunty Dan-Dan’s said. It’s so easy to let something slip and not notice it. It’s so easy for a child to pick it up, as we as their elders are the ones they look up to and if we say something, they are bound to say it at some point too. 

We have a little while until Emily starts talking, Sam is already getting excited about the day she starts saying “dada.” At the moment, it’s a lot of little noises, random screams & shouts, other times sounds that completely surprise her. Cute to watch, getting herself prepared for the day that she’ll speak. At this moment in time, it’s 5:30 in the morning and Emily has got part of her arm stuck in her onesie, and she’s figuring out how and why it got ‘lost,’ so she’s talking to herself. Some ‘words’ clearly of frustration, others of excitement and joy and I love this. It’s so beautiful, funny, exciting to watch how my little bunny (see!), is trying to express herself. She loves watching our lips and mouths as they move, trying to figure out the words being said. So here are some of the words I try to say instead of the usual swear words I’m used to:

  • Fudge
  • Sugar
  • Oh poo!
  • Gosh
  • Flip
  • Whoopsie Daisy
  • Darn
  • Wally

These words limit my usual swearing days and I know that those days are numbered so if I want to swear, it generally has to be out of ears reach, under my breath or spelled out hoping the other has picked up on my curse word.

It’s always been, as far and as little as I was to remember, that if you swore as a child, you had some behavioral issue. We weren’t a family of swearers and I wasn’t brought up to be one either. Swearing was always wrong and so few people said it, that I noticed anyway. If, in a movie, it was a few times but mostly the film was rated higher than usual because the word “fuck,” was used often. Nowadays swear words can be seen on clothing, on CDs, in a 12A movie, everywhere and anywhere as swearing seems to be more socially acceptable than 25 years ago. But like my mother, my grandmother and the many generations before her, I want to raise Emily up where swearing is not part of our everyday vocabulary. To not know of that world till she’s older. To just live a carefree life of a child and enjoy herself. I know I can’t expect others to stop swearing around her, that will be difficult, but I can prevent her from her parents saying it so often. That’s the best I can do, right?

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