Saturday, March 19, 2005

Oh, the niceness of meeeeee. . . .

I've posted about this one before, but for some reason it's been running through my mind and making me giggle all last night and was still tickling me when I got up today.

When I was young, I had a bad, bad habit. It really was a bad habit, and I'm honestly ashamed of it. I picked up this habit in college, for my parents certainly never allowed such goings-on in their home.

Actually, they had kicked this same habit when I was a tiny child, but that's another post.

Anyway, this habit, as habits have a way of doing, had become such a, well, HABIT, that I didn't even notice it any more.

Those of you who are of a 'certain age:' Remember the movie "Love Story," and Oliver's friends' description of Jenny as "foul-mouth angel-face?"

That was me. Minus the angel-face.

I had potty mouth, and I had it bad. So did Hub, but I was much worse.

Now, young parents with potty mouth must remember something here. Tiny children learn to speak by imitating the language they hear.

This was an elementary bit of science that hadn't occurred to us, because whenever we spoke to our toddler and our newborn, we used VERY appropriate and pretty mommy/daddy/baby language. Oh, you all know it. That schmoopy pigin we talk to babies with.

Ah, but it's always the footprints you DON'T want them to follow, that they pick up on the fastest.

Belle had a touch of the potty mouth at a most inappropriately young age. I even thought it was kind of funny.

Looking back, I'm just appalled at my lack of judgment.

As we drove down to French Lick to the family reunion, I reminded Belle to be sure not to say, um, certain words there. She agreed. I think she even understood. That bothers me now, too.

Sometimes it takes a humiliation to open your eyes and make you shut your mouth.

With this background in place, I will now tell this story that some of you have already heard, again.

Hub's grandparents were awesome, lovely people; they were so good to us when we were first married, in many, many ways. They were also VERY conservative Pentecostal holy-rollers. Key words here: very conservative.

Dowdy clothes, bun-hair, dark hose, tongues, oil. . . .you get the picture. And no, I'm NOT making fun of them. I loved them dearly and deeply. I am merely DESCRIBING them, which intelligent people can see at a glance. So if a certain person who ripped an artery from my heart by misinterpreting my Mary Poppins post will just use her brain for a moment. . . . but I digress.

The precious and wonderful grandparents were hosting a family reunion. Reunions at this huge white Victorian house were so awesome, there is no way I can begin to describe them in this post, but I'll try at a later date. Norman Rockwell had NOTHING on these lovely people. Sigh. I miss them terribly.

Ramble, ramble. . . . .

At this particular reunion, their huge table was crowded with Hub's family, every single one a kind and loving and humorous and incredible person.

Newborn Zappa was sawing logs on Grandma's big bed, and Belle was dining with the rest of us at that big table. She was sitting in a red wooden high chair that had been in their family for generations.

At this particular time she was going through a dining phase that can best be described as the "banana chip and shaved ice" phase. She was thin as a rail, and simply wouldn't touch most foods at ALL. The grandmothers and uncles and aunts were all worried to death about her, even though she was bright-eyed and energetic and obviously loving the complete control that any kid with food issues has over the adults in her life.

At this meal, she was pressured from all sides to eat this, or that, PLEASE? Just a taste, for Mamaw, for Grandma, for Grandad, for Aunt, Uncle. . . .Skin and bones, SKIN AND BONES, she must EAT. EAT EAT EAT EAT EAT.

Finally, she'd had enough. Catching my eye across the table, she knew better than to disobey the orders about potty mouth she'd been given before we got there, but she'd had enough of the constant nagging about food.

So my princess, my precious baby girl, freshly two years old but talking in complete sentences from the womb, master of innocent satire, stood up in the high chair, put both tiny hands on her tiny hips, swept the room and the people with an exasperated glance, and said, "Oh Mommy, I wish I could say SHIT."

And I wished I could say 'abracadabra' and just vanish. I was torn between falling out of my chair laughing, and falling out of my chair to disappear forever underneath that massive table.

Nobody laughed. I'm sure they wanted to, but the shock and the environment hushed it all up.

No, I'm NOT making fun of the environment. (I'm making these snide remarks at one certain person who thinks I'm awful, so don't worry. It's not you. It's her.) (I wonder if she knows Gary?)

I think I'm making fun of myself. It was one of so many mistakes, I've lost count. It just happened to be a very public, noticeable mistake.

For many, many years, I cleaned up my verbal act enough that she had no more of "those" words to mimic. Most of me is ashamed, but part of the shame is in the fact that there is a teeny-tiny part of me that still thinks it was funny.

I'm also ashamed to confess that some of that potty-mouth is back again.

But I'm nice, really I am. I'm @#$%^&*())(*&^ nice.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:34 AM | |


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