I don't really cuss in front of my kids. On a good day my worst offense is saying stupid and on a bad day it's crap. Don't get me wrong, when the kids are not around I can hold my own with any sailor. But for the most part we're G to PG rated for language at home. Not so bad.
As for movies, the kids all know (to an annoying extent as they inform other parents and children) that they are not allowed to watch PG-13 movies because most of the content and language is inappropriate for kids their ages. Inappropriate, usually pronounced in-u-po-pee-et is the trigger word in our house and has slowly infiltrated many situations.
"Mommy, look at Max! He's licking his you-know-what! Max, that is inappropriate!"
"Mom, your dress is way too short. It looks inappropriate. You should wear leggings."
"Gross. Daddy you shouldn't kiss Mommy like that. It's way inappropriate!"
So, needless to say, Sean and I have given ourselves small pats on the back as language goes. But all good and smug things must come to an end. This summer we drove 1,600 miles to Florida. A three day road trip which amounted to something like the Cannes Film Festival, except the movies previewed were not cool, the plots were thin and nobody famous attended.
Translation - the kids watched lame kids movies for three days straight. Until Sean and I pulled out our Ace in the Hole, The Goonies. A movie we would enjoy listening to, PG rated so age appropriate for the kiddos, cool because it's from the 80's, and would provide our family with great lines we could use on each other like Ro-cky Road, Boobie trap, dat's what I said, and Do the truffle shuffle.
It was all so perfect. Until the part where Chunk sees the cops chasing the Fratelli's down main street. You know the part. As the cars speed by, Chunk peers excitedly out the window to watch the action and as he does smashes his pizza and strawberry shake on the glass yelling, "AWW, SHIT!"
Sean and I froze. Maybe they didn't notice. We glance at each other and wait. Nothing happens and the movie continues. Whew. Lesson learned. Apparently, movie ratings from the eighties are about as up to date as acid washed jeans and Aqua Net.
Then we hear someone's crayons hit the floor followed by the thump of a coloring book. Quickly followed by a small 4 year-old voice saying with perfect intonation and admirable placement, "AWW SHIT!"
I had to hand it to him, he totally used that word appropriately and in context.
In a calm, non-flustered voice I say gently, "Sawyer, please don't use that word. It's a bad word and you should not say it."
"Say what, Mommy?"
"That word, Sawyer."
Ella helpfully pipes up, "You're not supposed to say SHIT, Sawyer."
"Yeah, Sawyer," Keira helpfully adds, "SHIT is not appropriate."
"SHIT? I'm not supposed to say SHIT?" Sean has covered his eyes with his hands and groans quietly. I am at a complete and total loss as the kids begin discussing the many inappropriate uses of the word SHIT.
"Okay!" I say a bit less zen-like. "I think we can all agree that it is a cuss word and we shouldn't use it." There. That should do it.
And then, two hours later. We hear the soft thud of a cup falling to the floor. Followed by french fries and crayons. That same small voice, "AWW, SHIT!"