Meatloaf is a wise man.
Or maybe he’s not. I don’t know. I never met the dude. Maybe he’s the kind of immature guy who unfriends you on Facebook because you never hit “like” on the pictures of his cat Harold. Honestly, I was just trying to think of a catchy first line that semi-segued to my topic. Which is that I am at a point in my life that I, too, would do anything for love.
But I won’t do that.
(And yes, you can stop reading now. That was a horrible introduction. Less paradise by the dashboard light and more gray Indiana winter endlessly whizzing by outside your car window. You deserve better. Use this time to “like” Meatloaf’s cat pictures or something).
For those of you still reading (thanks Great Auntie Mildred! How’s the sciatica?), it has come to my attention that despite all the sacrifices I have already made for my son, I’m going to have to make another one here shortly. A big one. HUGE. And as much as I love my kid, I just…I just don’t know if I can do it.
I mean, wasn’t it enough that during the roughly 47 months I was pregnant, I cut down from ten cups of coffee a day to just two? Or that I stopped drinking Diet Coke so he wouldn’t grow a third eye on his shoulder? Or that I gave up most alcohol? (I say most because my doctor said it was OK to have the occasional glass of wine and who am I to argue with science?).
Not to mention, I selflessly gained 50 pounds during his imprisonment in my womb just so he would have an extra cozy living space. Because that’s just the kind of caring mother I was right from the beginning.
And even once he was out, the sacrifices continued. My sleep. My personal hygiene. My ability to talk to other adults in full sentences and free of caveman grunts. I gave it all up for him. And I even did it happily so considering one whiff of his head, which smells like flowers and unicorns and mermaid glitter and ambrosia dipped in chocolate and bacon, made it all worth it.
Still, you’d think all that would be enough.
But no. Because now, at 13-months-old, he’s asking me for the biggest sacrifice yet. He’s making me…
…he’s making me give up cursing.
Excuse me…I just need a moment. Come on, Aprill, get it together…
Yes, my baby, while not yet talking in words (or at least known human words) is at that stage where he is mimicking sounds. Already he has my frustrated Marge Simpson-esque growl down pat and can make the “fah” f-letter sound thanks to an overly helpful Grover on “Sesame Street.” He mimics the dog’s bark and my chipper “Hi!” that I say every morning when I greet him. He even does a good fake laugh when Momma is trying to entertain him and he decides to take pity on me and my sweet 90s dance moves.
All of which is to say that I have to give up cursing, else his first word be a non-Grover-approved f-word.
But here’s the thing, I’m not good at a lot of things (amazing stick figure art aside). But I am a world champion cusser. I mean, I can take one curse word and use it as a noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb AND verb in one single sentence. I’m even up-to-date on all the newest curse words, picking a new one each day to use like some warped word-of-the-day calendar.
Oh sure, I can turn it off when I need to. When I’m visiting with my in-laws or I’m hanging out with “those” moms who can actually say “H-E-Double Hockey Sticks” without collapsing into a fit of giggles because of how dumb it sounds. But I’ve never had to give it up in my own home. My cursing sanctuary. The place where I have always let my four-letter word creativity blossom and develop in a nurturing environment.
I’ve tried everything to curb my filthy mouth. For awhile I tried to use alternatives. You know, like “dang” instead of “dammit son of a bitch in hell!” or “fartknocker” instead of “douchebag asshat.” I even tried yelling “Fudge it!” but that just made me hungry all the time.
I also tried going cold turkey there for a bit, having my husband monitor my words. Alas, that just made every conversation go like this:
Me: “I mean, what the h-…heck was that d-…person-head f-fraking…thinking when they f-…freaking…oh my god…what was I saying again? I can’t remember anymore.”
My husband: “Frak if I know.”
My husband: “Ah, you cussed.”
Me: “Sorry. Dumbass.”
And also, cold turkey just made me hungry all the time.
But by golly gee, I’m going to do my darnedest to stop this dang bad habit of mine. For my fraking son. Because it’s all fraking fun and games until he calls his kindergarten teacher an asshole because he didn’t get a smiley face sticker on his Thanksgiving turkey hand assignment.
So, I’m going to fraking do this. Even if it fraking kills me.