It was a pretty typical morning: We are in the car on our way to daycare. My son tends to get antsy in the backseat so to pass the time; we usually like the sing a bunch of songs. The name of the song escapes me at the moment, but what had occurred next sets in motion the climax of this story. I’m making a left turn on an intersection but before I can go through, another car comes in from my right and cuts me off, causing me to slam on my breaks. The combination of fear, adrenaline and anger forces me to blurt out the “word” so fast it was already out of my mouth before I could catch it. Kinda like that scene from the movie, “A Christmas Story”
I regained my composure and after making sure the little guy was okay, we continued our commute with him blissfully unaware of how nwe arrowly averted a disaster. We didn’t drive more than 30 feet before he said it.
I looked at him it the rear view. He’s grinning ear to ear, as if he knew exactly what he was saying.
If I was in a clearer state of mind, I probably would have explained that his daddy said a naughty word that he never should have said it. I probably would have also apologized that he heard such a word come out of my mouth and told him that we don’t say words like that because they can hurt people’s feelings.
That talk would come later down the line, when he was a little bit older. During that moment in a panic, I went into full denial mode:
“What? That’s not what I said! What I said was, fork.”
And it worked. He believed that I said "fork" and all was well with the world.
I’ll be the first to admit though; what I did was a 100%, pure USDA certified cop out. But I just wasn’t in the mindset to deal with it at that moment and besides, he was only 2 at the time, so he forgot all about that moment.In any case, it was more so a lesson learned for me more than anything, It was a reminder that no matter where I am or what type of situation I may face, I am a father at all time. As such, I have the weight of expectation. The expectation that I carry myself with integrity and composure especially in the presence of my family, because of the example that I set for them.
Because of this, I make the conscious effort to not curse whether I'm with my kids or not. That isn't to say that I don't slip up from time to time (especially when I stub my toe), but I truly believe that simply the effort in itself moves me closer to being the type of dad my kids can be proud of.
(UPDATE: He just asked his mom for candy and when she said no, the first words to come out of his mouth was, "Damn!" Mom just gave me a glare. I'm in trouble.)
Question: Have you ever unintentionally blurted a curse word in front of your kids? How did you handle the situation?