My husband and I were running the dogs’ post dinner last night when my husband started shining his bright-ass flashlight into our 10yr olds room. Back and forth, quickly, and annoyingly until we saw said child get off her bed and open her bedroom door that opens to the outdoor deck.
10yrold: I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY TO YOU, DADDY!
Daddy: little chuckle what?
10: FUCK. YOU.
Dad: no longer chuckling and now startled Um, WHAT?
Dad to me: Did she just say what I think she said?
Me: slowly, nervously, and quietly hiding while dying inside because I may or may not be the reason behind this new childhood milestone
10: FUCK. YOU for shining the light in my room
Dad and me: Bust up, crack up, die laughing Yep, that’s what she said.
—End of funny part—
10 and dad: saying stuff but I couldn’t tell you what because I am damn sure I am the reason for that. Cute as it be, the vision I had in my head when causing this, wasn’t as epic as it turned out to be. I envisioned something much more quiet, subdued…quiet. But fuck, I now have to break it to my husband as to why our 10-year-old just yelled loud enough for neighbors to hear, from atop our 2nd-floor deck, profanities at her daddy.
Me: worried because he and I discuss everything in how to parent, but I have never, ever, ever discussed this topic and future parenting milestone with him and now I am panicking about if I made a bad parenting decision and how much I have to bribe my kids to never cuss again after I gave them the OK
Dad: staring at me as I panic and sweat profusely, all while dying laughing and trying really hard not to actually die because I kickstarted a cough attack from my lovely post-covid lung asthma attack
Me: So, um, I am the reason she said that
Dad *completely oblivious, bless him*: huh?
Me: we have been listening to a lot of my favorite songs when I drive them to school and their appointments but I didn’t realize how many curse words there are in the songs I listen to anyway not the point I like my music and I’d much rather teach them that’s it ok to curse but only at the appropriate time (a valid reason, like venting your frustration) and place (home, or only in mom and dad’s presence) and in my defense, she just cursed at you because it was the appropriate time and place.
Me: sharp inhale
Dad: I don’t know what he was doing or if he was saying anything
Me: but I can totally command them to stop ahembribethem if that is what you want me to do
And then we got distracted by the dogs and now I am writing this bc this is a story I absolutely cannot NOT write about.
At least she used the famous phrase appropriately. An appropriate reason (venting her frustrations) and in an appropriate place (home).
It just wasn’t near as dull of a milestone as I was hoping it would be. I am going to be laughing about this whole situation for many moons to come and this memory will bring me eternal happiness.
Ummmmm, I just realized that I still don’t have my husband’s response 14 hours later.
(Note: I took some creative liberty with this story because I can)
After sleeping on this story, I have had some interesting, panicky thoughts about how my role as a parent has evolved since March 13th, 2020 (aka Pandemic doomsday).
They had to grow up fast during the pandemic due to my working at a call center from home. I wasn’t able to be with them during the day. They had to fend for themselves. They had to keep themselves busy.
But, like, am I being toooooo lenient? Am I being too much of a “cool” parent? Am I not doing my parenting duties and not giving them boundaries and consequences? Am I fucking this up?
And what I have come to realize is that it may seem like I am being too lenient and letting them get away with murder.
(Which isn’t true because I have told them multiple times that they are not allowed to hurt anyone, bully anyone, make fun of anyone, or commit murder.)
Anyway, I spent the first 6ish years of B’s life, and the first 4ish of E’s being a very strict, non-fun, very angry, and hateful parent.
And I don’t, no, I WON’T go back to that parent.
So, if that means I am a little more lenient, so be it.
Look, kids are going to curse. Kids are going to grow up into teenagers and have sex. Those teenagers might even be curious about weed and alcohol and drugs. Those same kids are already being taught how to survive school shootings every year of their primary educational life.
They are inundated with violence in everything from the news to movies and everything in between.
I am not exposing them to things they wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise. I have hard lines when it comes to sex, alcohol, and drugs. But I want them to feel safe and secure with us, their parents, to be able to come to us when they are exploring those other topics when they get older.
I’d much rather they practice safe sex because they know they can come to us and talk without judgment and prejudice than have risky sex. I’d much rather they experimented with drugs and alcohol with mom and dad than be in an unsafe situation at some random person’s house.
If that makes me a bad parent, I don’t want to be a “good” parent.
Yeah, I know. Our girls are only 10 and 13, and as of now, they will only be giving us kitties and puppies as grandchildren. But I’d be living under a rock if I didn’t acknowledge that they are growing up. Fast. Whether I want them to or not.
So, this whole conversation of cursing appropriately that I had with them, I had an ulterior motive of hopefully laying the foundation that I am not stupid, and that they can come to me for those harder topics.
If that makes me the cool parent because I let my kids live with a little bit of leniency, so be it.
Huh, maybe cursing is the gateway drug. And all this time we thought it was weed…
And while I am here, we unconditionally love our kids, no matter their gender or their identity. If that makes me the bad parent because I let them live their truth, I like it here in bad parent land.
With that being said, they have consequences. There are still boundaries that they cannot freely skip across. And they still have a carefree, stress-free childhood to live.
Maybe just with a little more flair and character now that they know I am OK with cursing.
I really need to talk to my husband about the whole cursing thing…
In the meantime, Adventure on with curiosity
~ Kelly “Beast” Steele
P.S. what do you let your kids do, or are OK with, that might seem like you are too lenient as a parent, or that may make you the “cool” parent, or the “bad” parent? Leave your answer in the comments! I look forward to seeing how we are raising this next generation.
P.P.S. The featured photo is my favorite ultrasound of said child that this post was inspired by. She’s been keeping it devilish since in utero.