March 4, 2019
As far as bad language goes I fall somewhere in the average category. Rarely do I swear at work and never in front of someone I don’t know or I’m meeting for the first time. I’m a situational swearer. A stubbed toe, realizing I’ve overslept and the entire length of any game involving a Boston sports team that I’m watching on TV are my swearing sweet spots.
(I understand why my wife leaves the house during the Super Bowl)
Despite my swearing disclaimer, I have no problem with salty language. Some of the funniest and smartest people I know swear as if it’s an involuntary action such as breathing. It’s a natural human function required to live. Nick is a smart and funny lighting guy I work with on my show who says the word “f%ck” so much that I’m pretty sure he once squeezed the word “f%ck” into the work “f%ck.” I didn’t even know that was possible. If Donald Trump wants to build a wall in Mexico he should try and convince Nick to give a swear jar a try.
(This isn’t Nick, but if they do a movie about his life this guy could play him.)
The word “f%ck” for Nick is like the word “aloha” in Hawaii. It means a lot of different things. If Nick says, “F%ck you” it can mean anything from, “Thanks for the coffee” or “Have a great weekend” to “I believe you’re incorrect when you say that” or sometimes just “F%ck you.” Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent about Nick. He’s just an intelligent guy who happens to have the most foul language of anyone I’ve ever known. It’s because he doesn’t have kids.
As almost every parents knows, swearing habits change when your kids reach around two years old and you realizing they’re aware of what your saying. I’ve got two kids. Charles, the non ASD child, and Arthur with ASD. And I have to say…I could be doing better.
The boys are fraternal twins. No twins could be any different. Charles, is HIGH maintence. He needs fun, he needs it NOW and constantly. . He’s creative and hilarious but he never and I mean NEVER stops talking. Sometimes I hear his voice when I’m at work. It’s like after you get off a flight and you still hear the buzzing in your ears for hours after.
Charles hears everything. I am proud to say that at three and a half he hasn’t reached past the point of situational swearing out of reflex. A few weeks ago we were in the car when another car ran a red light and came with a few feet of hitting us. Charles’ response from the back seat was, “Sh%t, that was close.”
(Watch out, Nick. Charles isn’t even four yet.)
Recently my wife was at the Home Depot with both the boys. She told Charles to keep his eye on Arthur as she climbed up to grab something in the orange rafters. In the split second she turned away and then back she could see only Charles standing there watching in amazement as she mounted the Home Depot jungle gym like an action hero. When she asked where Arthur was he realized he was derelict in his duty and replied, “Oh, sh%t.” Arthur was found moments later.
Luckily, I’ve been better watching my language around Charles. His slips are really just cute stories that make family members laugh and no more than that. We’ve received no calls from his preschool complaining about his language so that’s a relief. Because at the end of the day you just want other people thinking you’re better parents than you really are.
Where I need to make big improvements is with Arthur.
Arthur is, as my wife says, “the angel”. He gives the longest and strongest hugs and when he climbs into your lap he gives you a look that says (to quote from Jerry Maguire), “ YOU complete me.” It’s his way of taking you hostage emotionally. For most of his life he has been non-verbal. My wife has him on a special diet and supplements and he’s really starting to improve. He’s even starting to repeat and mimic words back.
I’m sure I haven’t been as careful with what I say around him as I have been with the kid who’s already saying, “Sh%t that was close.” And if Arthur’s been absorbing what I’m saying, his first expressive statements might be PG-13 or even R.
Don’t get me wrong. For my wife and I, the day when Arthur starts communicating in full sentences is going to be one of the happiest days of our lives. I’m just don’t know at this point if that sentence is going to be, “Mommy, I’m hungry” or “Who does a kid have to blow to get a f%cking pancake in this place”? And even if it’s the second one, it’s going to result in tears of joy.
We’ll spend days calling our friends and family on speaker phone asking Arthur to repeat, “Who does a kid have to blow to get a f%#king pancake around here”?
(Tell Granny and Grampa about the f%#king pancakes again!)
We might even have a party with his first spoken sentence on banners and a large sheet cake.
He gets closer every week to getting there, so it’s a race against time for me to clean up my act and my language so our Hallmark moment doesn’t sound more like a scene from a Quentin Tarantino film.
But even if he starts off more like Nick, I won’t be able to contain my joy. Because what parent doesn’t look forward to coming home to a child who smiles with delight as he runs, hugs you with his tiny little arms and says, “F%ck you, Daddy” “F%ck you, too Arthur.” “F%ck us all!!”
Least Favorite Child Results
Monday, February 25 – Arthur isn’t a morning person. I don’t have a lot of responsibilities, but one of them is getting the boys ready in the morning for their schools. On this morning, Arthur was extracted from his bed like someone attempting to cross the border into the U.S. But unlike those poor children he was not thrilled to be reunited with a parent. At least not at 7am. Charles quietly ate his toast while using some zen skill that allowed him to block out the shrieking. Least Favorite – Arthur.
(“I just need a few more minutes and then I’ll be ready to take on the day.”)
Tuesday, February 26 – Charles IS a morning person. And on this morning, like many others he has needs that must be met. Two pieces of toast, milk, three to five specific Lego men, blanket and much much more. If I retrieve these things, he will follow up to find out what’s taking so long. In that time the dog eats his toast. Let’s just say that Charles had his two pieces of toast, but eight pieces were made. Least Favorite – Charles.
Wednesday, February 27 – Charles is happy to see me when I get home. I’m happy to see him. But as bed time looms, the battle begins. I burn hundreds of calories putting pajamas on a running child. It’s like a rodeo sport. I’m sure I could come up with enough events to create a child rodeo, but I’m sure it would received as inappropriate. At any rate, as much as I love goofing around with Charles, the aerobic workout after a 10 hours day is not what I’m looking for. Least Favorite – Charles.
Thursday, February 28 – See Monday, February 25. Least Favorite – Arthur.
Friday, March 1 – This was a tough one. Arthur was repeating a lot of words which was fantastic. When he makes progress we get so happy, that it offsets the facts that he sat in the dog’s water bowl on three different occasions creating three different wardrobe changes. And it’s incredibly cute that Charles wants to keep me company when I have to go potty, but there are so few “me time” moments for me on a daily basis, that I really kind of need some pooping privacy. But sitting on the toilet while a child pounds on the bathroom door while he weeps, “I want to see what you’re doing!” OK, maybe this one wasn’t close. Least Favorite – Charles.
Least Favorite Child Totals
Charles – 3 Days
Arthur – 2 Days
Now I have to figure out how long it’s been since Neil Patrick Harris hasn’t responded to my post.