So I’m taking my 5 year old daughter to kindergarten today, and I have my 2 year old in the car with me as well. We’re just be-bopping along and my daughter is singing songs from her kindergarten repertoire ("Schooltime is over” and “Glub Glub Went the Frog") and I’m thinking about how even though it is very stressful to try and juggle all the demands of full-time momminess and my full time job, plus my freelance writing gigs, plus my teaching, and so on and so forth… I still feel very fortunate to get to be with my kids all day every day, and how I’m just so proud of them. I’m patting myself on the back a bit, because my kids are both so very intelligent and creative, and just so polite and happy with the “pleases” and the “thankyous". We’ve worked very hard to make sure they’re both well-behaved and if they do have an argument everyone says sorry, and hugs and kisses go around, etc… and then I’m thinking what a good influence I’ve been and how I’m glad I don’t have to worry about them being in day care and such…
About that time, we pass an open fire hydrant that had not yet been attended to, and of course there’s water spewing out all over the four-lane road. When the guy next to me flies through it drenching my car with a very loud and very forceful shower of water, we all gave out a collective “Whoa!” and then darling sweet Emily laughs and says “Oh my gosh, Mom, that scared the hell out of me.”
Now, by all rights I should have been mortified, but I’d had one of those days and it absolutely caught me off guard and really struck my funny bone. I’m trying unsuccessfully not to laugh as I say “it scared the hell out of me too, but you really shouldn’t say it like that. Kids should say ‘heck’ instead, ok?” I say “hell” all the time, so of course I knew where she’d gotten it, no blaming the husband on this one. “Oh, okay mom,” was the reply, and I begin wondering where else she may have said that when I wasn’t around.
Needless to say I’m reconsidering my position on what I good influence I am on my children.