Monday, May 21, 2007


A little birdie told me my family's looking at my blog (actually I'm the little birdie that told them). I guess I have to watch my language. Not that they're this puritanical bunch, my brothers and sisters sometimes curse like sailors now. It's just that, when we were children, our household never tolerated any form of bad language in the house. No forms of sexual talk either, except maybe what type of stork brought the babies to the house.

To illustrate, one time we were driving in the country when we were kids and we saw a bull mount a cow. Now my mother in law, a nurse, would have showed her kids "Look, their mating!", stopped the car, and taken pictures. My mother, on the other hand, mumbled "Oh Dear' and looked the other way. So cursing and sex were learned where they ought to be learned...on the street.

Now in proper context, one day, when I was in my late teens (well back in the 20TH Century) we asked my mother what we are having for supper. Completely straight-faced and dead pan she said "Shit on a shingle." We were floored, dumbstruck. I had NEVER heard either of my parents EVER curse. "Mom, WHAT did you SAY?" we stammered. Her explaination was "Well, that's what they called it in the Army!" My virgin teenage fucking ears! They had never cursed in front of me, and our reaction ensured that she never did again.

So, of course as adults, we were as loose with our tongues as a rapper on a rant. But alas, parenting changes your tune. Linda and I were kind of gutter mouth-ed through the birth of our first child, Aly. We remained that way until around two, until one day, I was putting together a piece of furniture and hurt my hand and said "Shit!". Of course, you guessed Aly kept repeating "Shit, shit,shit-shitshit". Our potty mouthed days were over after enduring the scowls of or day care provider. Today. we're not QUITE as stringent as my parents household was (thanks to my mother in law's clinical ideas of explaining sex... and her forgetfullness sometimes with four letter words in front of the kids!) , but we're sure that any language learned will originate from the street, we'll take care to get into the definitions. Maybe we'll save the questions so they can ask Grandma!

Now, we're much much more stringent with our vocalities, and our kids have a virginal perspective of language where words like stupid, idiot, shut up, hate, dumb, be quiet and retard are just as bad as the other 7 you cannot say on TV (gawsh, even THAT phrase is meaningless now with HBO!). The 'street' is catching up with our two oldest however, and we THINK they now know most of the real bad words. Although I'm not askin' which ones they know!

Anyway, I went back and cleaned up my old posts...we'll have to have an air of civility around my family...unless you have a good 'clean' dirty joke... my dad loves those!


gingerotto said...

It used to be a real adventure to hang around Aunt Hilda, because she was never shy about letting a "damn" or two fly, and to us, that was the height of bad language! Of course now, with an almost 23 year old and almost 20 year told, we have gotten a real education in street language. It seems like it is every other word!

It has been fascinating to read your blogs and get the end-of-the-birth-order perspective on our family. We were 11 years apart and saw things from different angles.

Even more, it makes me so proud to read your postings. You are a hell of a man, a hell of a writer, married to a wonderful, wonderful woman, and your family is struggling but moving forward and good things are happening.

I love you.


Talk about angles, being the last of 7 (and no folks, I was NOT trying to catch up with my parents record), I always saw things from that cinematic 'low' angle, looking up at the larger world! I was the 'protected' baby, insulated from the real world going on around me.

Thanks for stopping by, and watch those h.e. double hockey sticks, I'm still trying to keep my PG13 rating!

mcewen said...

I don't think that there's anychance of any of my relatives nipping over to my blog - perish the thought.
As for bad language - on the whole it's usually something too obscure to be misconstrued by anyone else [the kids that is to say, no me!]
Barnacles to you!


Having six girls 5 are aged from 16 to 25 and one who is 6, I blame all bad language on the older girls(my excuse and I'm sticking to it).When the 6 year old does something especially naughty, yep I do believe that children on the autistic spectrum can be naughty,a bad word may escape and usually I tell her that I don't care if she repeats it to her teacher.Thankfully the worst she has said is SILLY COW and that DID come from her sisters.

Anonymous said...

Oh jeez. This one made me giggle.
My 5 year old autie boy spent a week home with dad on vacation couple months ago. Year-round school = 3 week breaks 3 times a year. So anyway, dad and Eli spent some quality time together playing computer games. All week long. Every day. Dad was in the Marines for 6 years and has a bit of a potty mouth. ;-)
I overheard Eli saying to the game one day, "Stop it, you fu**ers!" plain as day. I guess 3 years of speech therapy is paying off....


How ironic that we welcome, almost cheer, if our autistic children, say NO, curse, recognize opposition and fight. I cheer when Liv takes back a stolen item or protests loudly when injustice happens to her, it shows me she's paying attention...