Everyone who knows me personally is well aware that I have a tendency to curse far too much. I can barely get through a sentence without a few expletives, something that makes my mother furious and normally culminates in her scolding me (even though I’m twenty-five—which is not at all annoying). Because of this bad habit, I have to really watch my tongue around my son Liam, since he’s only five and therefore a sponge. This often results in me switching gears mid-sentence, and saying things like, ‘Oh FU—ngus.’
So clearly it’s hard enough for me to watch whatever words come out of my mouth—but now I’ve even got to watch the words that don’t come out of my mouth. The ones that I type are getting me into trouble as well.
I google as often as most writers do. I frequently wonder if the FBI is tracking my internet searches, because I’ve got a few eyebrow-raising ones they would probably love to talk to me about. Anyway, not long ago I needed to research something for a book I’d been writing. There I was, absorbed in my search, pecking at the keys, blinder-vision on—when I heard this sweet little voice ask me:
“Mommy, what are roofies?”
In case you couldn’t guess, that is a very hard question to answer. I don’t like lying to Liam, (unless they’re fun lies, like when I tell him I can communicate telepathically with our three dogs) but on the other hand I think five is too tender an age to know what the date-rape drug is.
My answer was something to the effect of: ‘Oh, well, you know—hey look, Bubble Guppies is on.’
I’m ecstatic he’s reading, I’d just prefer he didn’t peep over my shoulder and read—out loud, as he so often does—whatever crackbrained things I may be typing (because really, most everything I type is of the crackbrained variety.)
I’ve realized a good way to keep him from his little voyeuristic tendencies, though. Now I shield the laptop screen whenever he is in the vicinity, as if I’m some shelter dog protecting my food dish.