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What NOT to say around your kids…. The True Story of a Bad Word

Danny Joe

One day your kids are just mumbling babies just “ooooing” and “gaga-ing” their way through life not paying a bit of attention to what you say. Then, as adolescents, they end up not listening to you either. But, there is that one moment in time when you slip up and say or do something and THAT will be the one time they actually listen. Here is my story of such a time.
It was a day like any other. The birds were chirping, the sunshine of this perfect day permiated the air and I was carrying a basket of freshly laundered clothes. Our 2 oldest daughters were at school and Shelby, our 1 1/2 year old (at the time) was sitting on the couch watching Dora the Explorer. As I made my way across the living room carrying the basket of clothes, I tripped over our sleeping one-eyed pug. As I stumbled, I stubbed my big toe on the corner of the loveseat. The immediate pain was gripping and I did the only thing I could at the moment. I let out a scream and exclaimed “SON OF A BADGER!!!” Except it wasn’t “badger” but we’ll go with that in this story. I know I know. If you know me, I am very mindful about the company I am in and am very good at not using such language. But that phrase came out in front of Shelby. The look on her face was one of “You’re in my way. I can’t see Dora, Daddy.” So, I thought she completely missed what just happened and we had dodged a bullet. Whew!
Later that day, we had to make a run to a certain big store for some house supplies. As usual, the lines are backed up and there are only 3 cashiers. As we pulled our shopping cart into the point of no return. You know the part of the lane where you are surrounded by candy and all the other bad decisions you can make in 30 seconds. As my wife Sara and I were waiting with Shelby sitting in the cart seat, it was then that I realized I didn’t dodge the proverbial bullet earlier. The trigger just never got pulled. Then it happened, Shelby looked up at Sara with those big, beautiful blue eyes and said “BADGER”. That bad word came out of Shelby’s mouth with such grace as to suggest that it was commonplace in our house. Immediately, Sara turned a shade of white that is reserved for ghosts and printer paper. We looked around that maybe no one had heard it. WRONG! The lady in line behind us had her hands over her mouth in a ghast while the gentleman ahead of us in line was shaking his head from side to side in disapproval. I didn’t know what I should do. I looked down at Shelby and I saw a smile on her face. Little did I know, that was a smile of accomplishment. She felt she did something great. “BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER!!!!!” As she continued, Shelby got louder. The spectacle grew from the disapproving man and ghastly woman. We had captured the attention of all 3 open checkout lanes as people had started peeking over the candy bar filled divides to their earful. I could feel a thousand icy stares on me from people who thought Shelby got that word from me saying it to Sara which couldn’t be further from the truth. So I did the only thing I knew, I blamed daytime television!
As we were heading for the door to leave, I couldn’t help but feel that I narrowly escaped a butt whoppin’ of epic proportion. To think, all of this stemmed from stubbing my toe from helping with laundry. What’s the lesson here? Men don’t help with housework. It could get your butt kicked. Oh yeah and watch what you say around those who you think AREN’T listening, because they usually are.

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