I am a true believer that parents are the strongest role models for our children and I'm counting on that to raise fit kids. Sometimes I notice my kids emulating my behavior, other times I don't see a correlation at all (as in, what spaceship did you come from?).
Today at the gym, the emulating came through loud and clear. Loud and clear.
In the childcare center my beautiful darling M was looking for her baby brother and belted out, "Where the hell is B?"
I froze. Did she just say? As if to answer me she said it again, louder this time:
"Where the HELL is B?"
Naturally, I grabbed her by the neck pulled her close and looked up to see if anyone heard. (And withheld the urge to say, "What the hell did you just say?") Oh yes, people heard and acknowledged me with their eyeballs.
I swear I don't talk like that in front of my kids. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I try mightily to contain my potty mouth in front of impressionable children. Sometimes (does this go without saying?) I slip. The lesson here is that those little sponge brains are paying close attention. And you can't censor everything. They will pick up all the good stuff you want them to, but they'll also pick up all the little ugly bits you didn't intend for them to inherit. And you sure as hell better hope there is a lot more good stuff than ugly bits.
***I have a quick addition to this post after my mom called this morning with a funny and related story. She was in a hotel elevator this weekend going down to the lobby, marked "L" on the elevator. The elevator stopped on another floor and three elderly women got in. My mother asked them, "Are you going to L?" And one of the women gasped and said, "What?" So my mother, thinking they were hard of hearing, asked again, louder: "Are you going to L?" And then they laughed. One woman said, "Oh, you said L, I thought you said hell!" And another old lady said, "I was just wondering how you knew!"
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