Hold the cocktail sauce

My children are darling little angels.

Except when they aren’t.

And BELIEVE YOU ME, we have plenty of the “aren’t” sorts of instances, ’round here. Though their seemingly limitless capacity for finding NEW and INTERESTING ways to make that little vein in my temple throb sometimes astounds me.

So, you have to go read this post by Joshilyn about how her son Sam has had his first brush with inappropriate profanity. It’s worth the read, trust me. Go! I’ll wait.

It was hilarious, right? And lo, how I giggled. Oh, how I snorted in smug and blissful assurance that SURELY my children were LIGHT YEARS away from any such situation.

Hubris! It’s what’s for dinner! (And lunch!)

My sweet and compassionate son, he who inserts himself between me and Otto if we so much as disagree—exhorting us to please not argue! even if we aren’t actually arguing—had a little skirmish with another child at school yesterday. Nothing physical, but Monkey felt he was being taunted and he got pretty upset and reacted badly.

I’ve been following up with emails and phone calls to try to get the entire story, as it’s been dribbling in by bits and pieces. This morning I thought I finally had the whole thing.

Until I talked to the vice principal, who was the one to sit down and talk with Monkey after everything happened.

It turns out that my ANGELIC son explained to her that this other kid was “REALLY GETTING ON MY FUCKING NERVES.”


But WAIT! It gets even BETTER, because when the VP was (understandably) taken aback by Monkey’s language, he followed it up with:

“What? That’s what my mom says to me ALL THE TIME.”


(For the record? I have NEVER said that to either of my children, no matter how many times I may have thought it in the deepest and ugliest recesses of my overtaxed brain. And thank the good lord above, despite Monkey’s assurance to the contrary, it does not appear that anyone at school believed I have, either.)

(Though it may have been going too far to explain that I ONLY say that when I’m SHOOTING UP and he’s bothering me. I say extremely stupid things when I am MORTIFIED.)

And the jewel in my genius boy’s crown? When THAT didn’t go over particularly well, he then closed with:

“I didn’t know that was a bad word.”

Uh huh.

When that child gets home today? He is in VERY DEEP SHRIMP.


  1. Grannycilla

    oh, FOOP!

  2. Joshilyn

    I am CRYING with laugh over here.
    Other fave line: I ONLY say that when I’m SHOOTING UP and he’s bothering me.

    You are a treasure

  3. dad

    Liz beat me to it!

    For the record, I would really like a copy of the transcript of the lecture you give Monkey. Including the part where through all your consternation and rightous indignation you totally lose it and laugh yourself into a coma.

  4. Marsha

    I have a potty mouth and try to use it when my youngins aren’t home or I THINK they are not in ear shot. My 7 year old came home last week stating he said “Oh Shit” in class and when I asked him why he said it, he said he was frustrated about some work he was doing. (thinking he didn’t know why he said it – I was hoping) So, proud that he at least knows the grammatically correct way to use it in the English language, but not proud that he even used it at all. I do not swear AT my children, but I am sure even though I would love to deny it, he probably heard ME say it sometime ??? who knows… Then he says to me “But no one heard me so it is okay”. Wherein, I had to sit him down with the whole, That is a grown up word talk and “we” don’t talk like that… what a hypocrite I am…. So, my whole true, real, point to me commenting is… I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER thanks to your little story lol.. that he hasn’t (as far as I know) dropped the F bomb!! You poor thing… these things happen…

  5. Tammy

    Deep shrimp indeed! But somehow, I kind of want to believe Monkey when he says he didn’t know it was a bad word.

  6. RuthWells

    Oh, I am SO stealing “VERY DEEP SHRIMP”!!!!

    (Where in hell do you suppose he picked that phrase up?…)

  7. shannon

    too funny! love that word combination f****** nerves….. reminds me of the english i guy i was once married to. however, i feel really bad for monkey to have experienced that level of frustration, to just blurt it out. taunting kids can be so effing annoying. i feel his pain.

  8. exile on mom street

    Oh my.

    Suddenly I’m relieved that most of the world can’t understand half of what comes out of Grasshopper’s mouth.

  9. Randi

    MWA HA HA HA HA – so friggin funny Mir! He’s probably heard you say it about clients and stuff LOL. Just awesome.

    My son has found a loophole – singing songs for Rock Band 2. He thinks it’s all right to say those types of words as long as it’s in the song. “But mom look! It’s in the lyrics!”

  10. Zuska

    Well of COURSE he didn’t know it was a bad word – if it was a bad word, why would YOU use it all the time??? (*ducking*)

    Please, please, tell us how your conversation goes when Monkey gets home!!!

  11. Denise

    Out of the mouths of babes….I had already read Joshilyn’s post this morning and thought it couldn’t be topped. However, it seems Monkey and Sam are running neck and neck. You girls are too funny and such good mothers…I miss my two being little.

  12. Megan


    One of my children’s very first word



    Yes. Although said child was not told this for many a long year. Now it’s useful for blackmail and embarrassment purposes though!

  13. Gaylin

    When my sisters kids were young I forced myself to say Holy Cow – a lot . . . Okay I used to work in a pulp mill . . . I have to work on my language all the time.

    When I was about 15 we had a small pool table and were playing a game one evening, I missed a really easy shot and said ‘Oh Shit’. My mom looked over and said ‘that just rolls out of your mouth doesn’t it’. I didn’t get in Shrimp for saying it as she knew who I learned it from and I was the grand old age of 15.

  14. The Other Leanne

    “For the record? I have NEVER said that to either of my children, no matter how many times I may have thought it in the deepest and ugliest recesses of my overtaxed brain.”

    It is confirmed, then; Monkey can hear your thoughts.
    My problem is that now I will never be able to eat shrimp without thinking of this, and that’s not a good thing.

  15. BethRD

    I was recently trying to explain to my six-year-old about swearing. “See, kid, here’s the deal. I know the words, you know the words, I know you know them, etc…. but the system only works if I pretend you don’t know them, you pretend I don’t know them, and we don’t use them around each other. YOU don’t use them at all, until you’re old enough to understand context, which means not using them around me. Or Nana. Or your teachers. Especially Nana.”

    Because really, why can’t kids swear? Especially when some other kid is getting on their fucking nerves? Well, because… they just can’t, is all. Sometimes all I can do is describe the way things work, I can’t defend it.

  16. Jan in Norman, OK

    When my sister was about junior-high aged, she came up with a term that I’ve used and cherished ever since: Pooky-face.

    Useful in all sorts of stressful situations. And can mean whatever I want it to mean.

  17. Ani

    We taught our dorm-mate in college to swear, she went from Bull-dinky and Sugar to…full-blown sailor mouth. And we were so proud.


    And now _I_ have to go back to bull-dinky and sugar and god-bless-america so I don’t have the same conversation with my son’s vice principal. Karma is hell.

  18. Sheila

    My husband (whom I love more than life itself, and yet sometimes I can’t wait for him to leave for work already) left out the copy of “Hellboy 2” he had rented while I was out for the night. My nine year old daughter saw it and gasped, “Oo-OO-ooh! A SWEAR!”

    Immediately, this captured the full attention of the five year old, who was DESPERATE for someone to tell her exactly WHICH swear it was. Getting no response from anyone (for I do not want to be called into our Principal’s office– she’s a nun for Lord’s sake–), she finally tried sounding it out for herself.

    At long last, she bravely asked, “Mom– does that say HEEL BYE?” with a look on her face that said she wasn’t quite sure if I would ground her the instant the utterance came out of her mouth. Heel-bye?

    “Yes,” I answered, primly. “Yes it does. Now don’t let me catch you saying that ever again.”

    Can’t wait for the follow-up on how the little talk with Monkey goes.

  19. Katie in MA

    I’ve learned that Son of a Turtle is NOT that much better being repeated. Thankfully, it was at home. I think she was so scared at seeing me speechless that she instantly reformed. God bless four-year-olds.

  20. Kate Setzer Kamphausen

    Sometimes I thoroughly understand Ozzie and Sharon Osbourne’s decision to let their kids use whatever swear words they wanted from an early age. They just couldn’t be bothered to “die on that hill,” as it were.

    Then again, aren’t the Osbournes always drunk? And rich enough to send their kids to private school on the Moon, if they want. Where the swears are totally, totally different – and totally incomprehensible to us stupid feckin’ Earthbounds.

  21. Debbi

    ROTFLMAO….I can’t stop laughing!! That happens to be my favorite word but thankfully Bubby hasn’t repeated…yet…

    Bubby slipped with damn it when he was 5, hubby looked right at me. To which I replied..have you EVER heard me use that word?!? Hubby said “oh, guess not” My reply, don’t blame me until he uses the f word ;-)

  22. Tracy

    Please, please don’t be too rough on Monkey. These things happen. I remember when I was about 8-9 years old, we were going to Okalhoma for Christmas holiday. It was so cold outside. We always stopped at Robinson’s Meat so Dad could get a ham to bring with us (the best ever on the planet). Anyway, I had been sleeping because it’s like a 10 hours drive and my momma woke me up to see if I need to go to the potty and (half asleep) I said, “No, it’s too F*&^ing COLD.” And I remember thinking, “Oh, boy. I said that outloud.” Needless to say, I had to go to the potty soon after.” Boy, the memories.
    So, please don’t be too rough, these things happen.

  23. Beachgal

    I have a huge potty mouth. I work in law, I can’t help it. However, I have always limited my pottymouth in front of my kid. But somehow, my five year old dropped the f bomb in perfect context a few weeks ago. I was mortified. He’s not done it since, because he got so upset at being sent to his room, and the whole lecture about just cause mama says something doesn’t mean YOU should.

  24. Scottsdale Girl

    My first word(s)? DAMN IT!

    It’s the true.

  25. mama speak

    My 2YO walked around all day imitating her mama after stubbing my toe, “Shit, shit, shit! My husband came home & was like “What’s she saying?” What do you think she’s saying? Ignore her and maybe it’ll go away. And it did. However, this is the kid who’s 2 going on 22, so I’m sure it’s the sign of things to come.

  26. Little Bird

    Not my story but funny nonetheless. A young woman I know had a child at a VERY young age and she and all of her friends (I knew her but was not one of the friends) were very much into the TV show SouthPark. They watched it all the time. Until one day her 3 year old son, who was in a bit of a hurry, told his mother to “get her fat ass in the car”. When I heard the story I almost peed in my pants I laughed so hard. Partly because of what he said and partly because the idea of a 3 year old in a hurry (people to see, things to break) was just priceless.
    I am reliably informed that in my very early years I could not pronounce the word “truck”. My mother would want you to know that.

  27. Erika

    Just recently my four-year old, Jacob, has started using “Oh tartar sauce” as a curse word. He doesn’t know it but if he drops a toy he says it. If he asks for juice and I say water instead he says it. He uses it just like “oh sh*t”. I asked him to stop saying that because he was using it like a bad word but I think he could tell that I wanted to laugh because he hasn’t stopped. I’m having a hard time enforcing the rule because he is TOO CUTE when he says it.

  28. MomCat

    Too funny! Mine has never been *caught* swearing, though I’m sure she’s capable of it.

    My friend Susan has two boys and had to learn to watch her language. She was driving in heavy traffic one day and they noted her stress level as she dodged a car and uttered a frustrated sigh.
    5 year old: “Mom, why didn’t you say, ‘Damn, Damn, Damn’?”
    Susan: “No, that’s okay. I don’t need to say that.”
    3 year old (brightly) : “Oh, go ahead!”

  29. Ann from Minnesota

    When I first got divorced, I inherited the task of setting up our very heavy, but very beautiful fake Christmas tree. My daughter, age 7, was helping. As I tried to place the top of the tree into the appropriate hole, the tree tipped over and the stake broke. I let loose such a litany of absolutely awful words that neither my 7 year old or her 10 year old brother had ever heard (from me, anyway). I asked my daughter to run to the junk drawer and bring me a pliers, and she took off like a shot – surely she didn’t want to disappoint me in my agitated state. I waited for a very long time before going into the kitchen to see what she was doing. I found her standing in front of the open junk drawer, shuffling through the contents. I looked at her and said “You don’t know what a pliers is, do you?”. “Nope!” she responded. I wonder how long she would have stood there. We all had a good laugh about it. Later, I talked to the kids about my language and explained that it was inappropriate, even for a grownup. I looked at my son, and said “You don’t use language like that, do you?”. In the blink of an eye, he piped up “Fuck no!” I chose to think he was just playing with me.

  30. Rini

    On the bright side… my little brother… raised by a father who I ONCE heard say “Damn”, under extreme circumstances and only after I was grown… raised in a family who prizes a G rating in movies and never goes above PG-13… at the age of 8, while watching me play a video game (via DOS): “F*** you, evil monster, f*** you!”

    And after I picked my jaw up off the floor (because at the age of 12 I had JUST learned that word): “What? It’s just something they say in the movies…”

    And he turned out just fine! Bwahahaha.

  31. Jean

    That is just TOO f****** funny! Oh shellfish, now I’ve gone and done it!

  32. JennyM

    The “Oh, SHRIMP” just gets funnier and funnier the more I think about it. And “very deep shrimp” = awesome.

    I was in middle school when my mom was trying to navigate in the snow down a steep hill with deep ditches on both sides and when she started sliding a bit she said, “Oh, DAMN…NATION. Damnation…. Is that any better? No, crap.” Still hilarious.

  33. O.G.

    What’s the big fucking deal? J/K…that story is so funny because that’s exactly what you do when you’re a kid…blame and deny! I love it. You know that VP curses all the time.

  34. Melisa

    That’s my favorite part of A Christmas Story: when Ralphie says f— instead of fudge. Can you even get Lifebuoy anymore?

  35. carrie

    My monkey had only about 10 words when he was 2 (was getting speech therapy). Came out one morning to find a flat tire. Hubby tried to pry off the lug nuts with no luck, and kept trying while I went to call AAA. When I came out, the little one picked up the tool, pointed it toward the tire and said, “Oh, shit, oh, shit, oh, shit” as he pantomimed trying to remove the nuts. A proud moment for me!

  36. karen

    LOLOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL…. thanks for the belly laugh, Mir. Fry that deep shrimp, will ya? And I’ll be over for dinner, cause I’de love to hear what he’s gonna say tonight. :-)

  37. Flea

    Oh Mir, that’s priceless! My Oatmeal Head said something similar to a couple of grandmotherly types at church and had the audacity to back it up with a similar lie, basically that I would approve his choice of words. Gah! That was a mother-long week! He was about 10 years old at the time and I wanted to throttle him!

  38. Half Assed Kitchen

    Oh my. The sassafras is really gonna hit the fan, isn’t it?

  39. Heather

    Oh my gosh… that’s awesome. Sorry. LOL My son brought out the F-bomb in DAYCARE because we’d almost been hit by a car as we were crossing the street (in the crosswalk) and I unleashed some words on the driver. So of course he brought that lovely word to the rest of the three-year olds…

  40. Audi

    My son unleashed his first foul word on his entire class via the dry erase board. Some kids were picking on him and he tried to walk away but they followed. He wrote leave me the F alone. Needless to say they gave him an after school detention.

  41. Heather

    Its ok. Being born and raised in a Southern Baptist Church I was taught at a VERY young age not to cuss (I now have a potty mouth) When I was 4 or 5 in the middle of prayer I let the mother of all mothers out LOUD too (the big G** Da****) I remember the beating I got for that one. My first words were damn it too….

  42. Aimee

    Bwah! OH lord… I’m still laughing over Joshilyn’s post, and yours just made it all new again.

    I would NOT want to be Monkey right now.

  43. Patricia

    In our house, we have one rule about such words — They must be used correctly in the sentence. Thus he would be given a star for good grammar.

    But if your dad wants the transcript of the lecture — I want it too!!!

  44. Cair

    Perhaps your son possesses the magical power of mindreading?

  45. Libby


  46. Laura

    My six year old came home from Catholic school asking about the f word and the c word. I explained what each meant & told him not to get caught using them at the Catholic school. I think knowing how & when to use them is important.

  47. smarty

    My 11 year old boy loves cuss words and constantly tries to get me to write him a list of all of them so he knows the spellings as well as the meanings. (I havent) and he is not allowed to use them (but sometimes does, as do I)(but not in front of Granny)

  48. Amy-Go

    The fact that he is still breathing after telling the principal you use that word all the time is the thing that impresses me most…is there such a thing as shrimp flambe? Cuz I would have set one of mine on fire for that little fib…oh Monkey. Pray hard.

  49. pharmgirl

    When we first met pharmboy’s first grade teacher, she told us that she would not believe everything she heard about us if we promised not to believe everything we heard about her.

    So far, it’s been a good deal…

  50. Trish

    I know this is a terrible thing to say…but it’s times like these that I’m SO glad that my guy is a total and complete boy’s boy. Meaning, he doesn’t notice half of what goes on around him, and what he does hear goes in one ear and out the other. I’ve dropped a couple F-bombs around him, as well as a few…er…”shrimp”s, and he has yet to pick it up.

    I give it until middle school, when his friends will all be saying it. As for now, I’m glad that he thinks “stupid” is a bad word.

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