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  • Niamh

Put a Euro in The Swear Jar

Before I begin, let me just explain that while I'm not quite at the Roddy Doyle novel level of swearing, I am known to have a small, carefully chosen list of expletives, along like the lines of mother fucker, Jaysus, shitsticks, and fuckface that I like to use when the chips are down. I have a tier of other less offensive swear words that I like to deploy too or add into the mix. For example; ‘for fucks sake you complete mo-fo, it’s a green light, the accelerator is the bloody pedal on the right.’

Of course, it all depends on the day and my mood, if I’m pre-menstrual then yes, the air will be bluer then a regular day. And if I am in the car, as you can see from the above example, then all bets are off. But other than that, I have to say, I never really thought I had much of a potty mouth beyond the normal level of swearing, until my baby boy came along and my husband politely asked me to watch my language!

I was a little shocked to be honest and rather than retort with an expletive, I bit my tongue and am seriously considering having a small swear jar in the kitchen... although I am tempted to call it the 'fuck-it bucket!'

Anyway, it got me thinking about how my language might soon start to rub off on my baby boy. As a writer, I like to think I’ve a fairly wide vocabulary and I like to try and use big, fun words when I’m playing with the him in case it might rub off on him. He’s 7 months now and the babbling is getting more and more distinct. He’s already trying to mimic what we’re saying with dadas and babas coming out of his mouth. So if that rubs off, why wouldn’t the swearing? I don’t want a Meet the Fockers style situation to happen where his first proper words are ‘ass-hoooooole,’ like LJ in the film. So I am going to make a conscious effort to watch my mouth a little more.

That said though, some days being a mum at home is tough and it’s bloody hard to remember to say ‘oh fudge!’ when the dog runs off with a poop filled nappy and starts to flitter it in to a million pieces in the front room and leaves the walls resembling a H Block dirty protest. Or remembering to say ‘darny dimbles’ while the baby roars his head off and the pasta is boiling over on the stove. Or the other day when I was doing air-plane with him and he barfed all over me leaving me looking like I’d been slimed at the MTV awards and I had to say ‘oh sugar it anyway.’ I tell you, sometimes I feel like I’m in that episode of Father Ted with the missing whistle and there’s that sign telling people no swearing. Shouts of ‘fup off, grasshole,’ are used to great effect. But some days you just need to swear. Consequences be damned!

You know the days I'm taking about. it’s one of those days when you’ve been peed on for the fourth time in a row, you’re trying to open the laptop and do a little bit of work before the baby wakes up and howls, which he ended up doing for a full 40 minutes fighting sleep like a maniac, then when you do finally get him off to sleep you try to get the said pee-filled onesies in the laundry and maybe try and get a start on a few fresh meals for him for the freezer, when some completely oblivious ‘grasshole’ from Bord Gais rings the doorbell and wakes up the just asleep baby. For those days, ‘oh dear’ just won’t cut it. On those days only ‘oh fuck off! Will do… yes... I’ve got my Euro ready for the swear jar.

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