July 30, 2014

Are Parents Not Allowed to Say What is on Their Minds?

Leigh knew you've gotta watch your language around little kids, but she got a wake-up call during a recent vacation about just how many of your words kids remember, and what they'll do to embarrass you with them later.

When I signed up for this parenting gig, I didn’t realize I would also need to censor myself so much as my children aged. 

Sure, I knew the foul language that I once used in a television newsroom under deadline would be strictly forbidden. That, I understood. But what about those random thoughts that come into your head as you go about your daily life? 

Last week before our vacation to Jekyll Island, I took the kids to get a new DVD for the seven-hour car ride we faced the next da. We walked around the store to kill some time and stopped at the pool aisle. My daughter wears a puddlejumper in the pool. This is a device that keeps her up in the water but makes it easier for her to learn how to swim. I debated on whether she needed a new one. 

This year’s design is a lot different from her design bought several years ago. The characters pictured on the front are 3D sea creatures, such as a plastic, pink, smiling fish or an orange, happy octopus. You can reach out and touch them, or better yet, it looks as if they could attack you at any moment. If you have one of these designs, I’m about to apologize what I am about to say, but I’m not a big fan of 3D in general, and I blurted out while in the aisle in front of my kids, “These are ugly. I don’t like these at all” 

It also kept my daughter from asking for a new one because she knew I would not buy it in fear that some happy octopus would attack us in the car. 

We moved on to the Popsicle aisle, where I happily declared that I love pineapple the best, and we left the store with new DVDs and a frozen pizza in our hands. End of story, or was it? 

Fast forward to our Jekyll Island vacation. 

We were all lounging by the beautiful resort pool, and this adorable little toddler came waddling up to us. Her Dad was following her from inside the pool. She was naturally attracted to my “big girl.” We all smiled at how cute she was, then all of a sudden my son blurted out loud enough for her dad to hear: 

“Mom, you said her bathing suit was ugly.” 

My eyes became as big as teacup saucers, and I immediately said, “I did not say anything like that at all!”

He yelled, “You did. You said that suit was ugly.” 

I really did not say that. Then, all of a sudden, I looked at the cute little toddler, and a 3D pink fish was smiling at me. 

As I wanted to crawl under my lounge chair, my 4-year-old spoke, “You did, Mom. You said the floatie was ugly in that store.” 

That darn floatie. I, of course, remembered my words at that point. 

The little toddler waddled away, and I’m sure her dad thinks I insulted his daughter’s bathing suit. 

The next day, we pass the same family on the island after dinner. 

The toddler is in the stroller, and the mom says hello. The dad doesn’t speak. 

Will says jokingly, “The dad is leaning over right now telling his wife that you said their child’s swimsuit was ugly.”

“I did not say her swimsuit was ugly. It was the creepy fish, OK?” 

And that, my friends, is the time that my words came back to haunt me. 







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