We’ve all said the random curse word while stubbing our toe and then quickly looked down at our wide-eyed offspring as they gasped in shock, right? I’m totally kidding—my kids are hardly shocked with the random “holy dammit” or “shit-fire” or “fuckity fuck.” We try to teach that cursing can be a creative outlet (my son thought the “B-word” meant “bat-shit crazy” for the longest time), but we also tend to be strict with teaching situational appropriateness. This mostly works.
Colorful language aside, my kids have overheard many things in their little lives that they probably shouldn’t have. Things that hopefully won’t scar them for life, but do make me have to explain way more than I want to.
1. Almost Anything Their Dad Says After They’ve Gone To Bed
“I’m gonna hit that!”
From our son’s room: “You’re going to go to time-out if you hit, Daddy!”
2. Us, Talking About Invitations to Things We WON’T Be Going To
What?! We aren’t going to drive two hours for a random potluck birthday party where we won’t know anyone and will stand there feeling awkward while we eat hummus? No.
3. Stories About Anything That Happened to Us in College
“Mom, what’s a keg stand?”
“It’s like a cake, on a stand, you know…a cake stand? “
“And a…what did you say? Bong?”
“You know, silly, like a drum! A small drum thingy… Who wants ice cream?”
4. Arguments About Parenting
Ugh. My husband and I are usually on the same page with how to parent our kids, but every once in a while, we disagree about something that seems important. I don’t ever want them to feel like we are fighting about them, so it feels gross. Sorry kids, we’ll try harder.
You will never repeat what I just said to your dad to anyone, ever, OK? Ever. Yes, I’ll pay you.
6. Me, Farting
Nothing is funnier or more disturbing than your own mother breaking wind—especially when you are 9-year-old boy.
7. Us, Talking About Something Cute/Funny/Psychotic That They Did That Day
I feel bad every time I get caught doing this, but seriously, GO TO BED SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT YOU.
8. Santa and Mermaids
I usually walk that weird line of trying to keep everything magical but also trying to make sure that the other kids won’t make fun of them for believing in stuff. My 4-year-old daughter is much more pragmatic than my 9-year-old son, at least. She recently asked me if mermaids were real, and I, feeling like she could handle it, said, “Nope!” And then I remembered that my son was in the room. He was like, “What?! But we saw them at the aquarium!”
9. Whatever I Say in the First Five Minutes After My Husband Comes Home
It probably goes something like this, “Assholes. Need drink. Poop everywhere. You are never leaving again.”
10. Cremation, Embalming, or Donald Trump
All hard to explain, and each one causes real fear for their future.
These are just a few of the things that my kids have overheard, I’m sure. And hopefully they won’t remember any of them. Especially that one time when my daughter heard us “wrestling” and was genuinely worried about all the scary sounds coming from our room. Just forget that one, honey. Trust me.