Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Am a Mom Who Will Fight for Your Honor

My baby grrrl is a bad ass mofo. Fuck! she says, and I try very very very very very hard not to smile.
It started in Costa Rica, a country rich with vine and undergrowth. We were driving somewhere, our second to last day; the car was on empty. VacĂ­e. Sin gasolina, or something like that, and the next town was not for approximately one bajillion kilometers. Perhaps the story has been exaggerated with time, but outside the car the air was 150 degrees and hungry jaguars paced at the edge of the jungle. Inside the car we listened to Peter Cetera not so much because we had thought to pack our Best of Peter Cetera tape but because the only radio station we could get seemed to favor the Glory of Love. Fuck, Bryan said, watching the needle, no doubt imagining having to hoof it to the next town. Fuck fuck fuck. And perhaps I should have shushed him but there I was worrying if it would be better for Zoey and I to walk with him in the 150 degree heat for who knows how long or if we should remain by the car with the jaguars. And crocodiles. Venomous pitvipers. Fuck.

Short story, long post, anticlimactic save for the fuck: we got to the next town on fumes and a prayer, quite possibly having done it all for the glory of love. Later that night we splurged on a nice hotel and the concierge let Zoey pick out a DVD to watch in our room. She choose Beauty and the Beast; when we got back to the room she held it to her chest with a huge smile on her face and exhaled fuck like a sigh.

Now there are many things of which I am supremely proud: the fact that Zoey says please and thank you, more often than not as one super-word of politesse: pleasethankyouexcusemeyou'rewelcome. My chest bursts with pride at night when we lay in bed together, Bryan, Zoey, then me: each of us reading our own book to ourselves. This is bliss, I know, the bed zig-zagged with our toes. But I am also proud that Zoey somehow figured out the nuance of fuck, that the word can be used in all its explosive fricative as an angry sound fuck! But could also be said softly in happiness. Fuck yeah, the vowel drawn out with a smile. I did not teach her this; it appears that she is a savant with the swearing.

Since then she has picked up shit. Only now we have had the talk, the one in which I read from the BabyCenter script on how to discourage my child from swearing. So she whispers it: shit. Almost a sit, faint hint of sh. S(sh)it. Under her breath and I try very very very hard not to smile. For all of my swearing on this here blog I am not a huge pottymouth in real life. But I love words and language and respect these words as I respect critter. And buzz. Thistle, god how I do love the word thistle. Come to think of it, that's kinda' how Zoey says shit, like a thistle. Thistle shit. Just try and say shit like a thistle without smiling. Now imagine that word as a 3 year old whisper, a sly smile on her face, the joy of being the slightest bit bad on a road with no jaguars.

This is one of those posts that doesn't really have a pat ending, no loop the loop with meaning or fun. No, this is really for me, for Zoey--so that one day when she is older and knows about motherfucker tittysucker two-balled bitch she can read this and know that once upon a time she said fuck with a sigh and shit with a smile. And that even though I told her no, that we don't use those words, that they are bad, that really? Honestly? I was proud.

21 comments:

Jen said...

"...when we got back to the room she held it to her chest with a huge smile on her face and exhaled fuck like a sigh."

Is it sick of me that I think that's such a sweet visual? I love 3 year olds...they're such hilarious little people!

Anonymous said...

Effin' brilliant. Seriously, how's that book coming along?

Megan said...

I'm glad she's picked up on the nuances too!

Once when a little kid I was watching was delightfully combining "potty" words because it infuriated his dad, he made the ultimate combo and proceeded to tell me that I had a stinky vagina. I snorted with laughter, but had to slam a lid on it, his Dad was mortified and even angrier then.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

"thistle shit" is my new favorite thing in the whole world

Cindy said...

My sister and I laugh about FUCK when she declares, "What's the big deal? It's just phonics!"

But coming out of a 3 year old? Eek. :shudder:

xo

Simply Mel said...

My god, I'm so glad I found your blog! It's so honest and raw, and so enlightening compared to all the other boring talk I hear mother's jabbering about on the playground! Thank you!

And yes, Thistle is one of my favorites!

By the way, I love that you almost named Zoey...Miette!

Here's to raising well-rounded and happy girls!

Reluctant Housewife said...

Great post!

My son has been saying something that sounds suspiciously like 'fuckin' lately. I'm unsure how to react. I think my best bet is to watch my language from now on and hope for the best.

JennyA said...

This is so funny--Andy(Maness), Hampsey and I were just talking about this same phenomenon at our last book group. Great visual, as well. xoxo

Fastenau and Associates said...

I love it and needed a new picture of Zoey . . .
It is great you have the blog as a link on Facebook - makes it much easier to go there.

Brandi said...

My niece recently started swearing. She was watching "Shark Week" and triumphantly exlaimed that "sharks are little bastards." The fact that she added the word little...blew me away. They get it...behind the innocent eyes...they get it. And what do you say? Because, indeed, sharks are little bastards.

Petunia Face said...

Nancy,
Sadly that is not a pic of Zoey. It's a pic I found somewhere on the www--click on it and it will take you to where I found it.

Everyone else--
*&^#&^%@*&^!!! :)

xo,
S

ModernMommaBlog said...

It is hard not to giggle just a little bit when my little dudes speak the unspeakable. I mean, it's funny!

Rosalie said...

Oh man. I will never forget the night, in Calistoga, we became obsessed with Mother F*cker Titty you know the rest. That was a pivotal trip in my adolescence. Please tell me you remember?!

Petunia Face said...

Of course I remember that night Rosalie! But strangely I remember it as the night we were obsessed with The Exorcist quote: "Your mother licks balls in Hell."

And your poor mom, trying to take her daughters and a friend on a relaxing spa getaway. We were awful (but I still giggle when I think of it).

Zakary said...

My Zoe's new fav: "Well, BALLS."

And FYI, I love it when you write about ANYTHING. Whether it is Zoe, your vagina, other people's vagina or how broke we all are.

Thanks for the help with the bloggy stuff! Hugs to you and your vagina.

Not that I want to hug your vagina, that's weird. I don't even know you in real life. :)

Lolo said...

The morning I laid in bed, forcing myself to breathe as though still sleeping, as my sweet, smoochie faced toddler worked through allll the ways to say "Shit! My toe hurts!" is still one of my favourite memories.

"That's a Mommy Word and not for you to say, EVER." is what I ultimately went with. Not that it stops the little fucker from spitting out "oh SHIT!!" when he's on Xbox live these days.

nicole said...

this is the best! i've never loved the word fuck more!

Lou said...

Thank goodness! There are other moms who respect profanity when used properly. Now I can sigh my four-letter words with less guilt.

Drew said...

This picture of a little tattooed
drug addict in the making is hilarious.

Weitzell4 said...

My just turned two year old said "Jesus Christ" the other day. I said that we don't say that, it's not nice. His reply was "What? I not say God damn it" It was really hard not to laugh.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Is it pathetic that I knew you were going to reference Peter Cetera just from the title of the post?