It's Carnival Wednesday over at One More Thing, and the topic is "Not in Front of the Kids." I know others might write about sex but I'm kind of a prude in that way, plus my mom, dad, sister and possibly one uncle read this blog. So instead I'm going to write about other things I try my best not to do in front of the kids.
1. Swear - When I'm in the mood, I can swear like a sailor, which seems to surprise people. I guess I don't look the type to let loose with a string of foul words when provoked, but I learned from the master - my mother. My dad never swears, but my mom is a pro. Once, about 14 years ago, my mom accidentally cut my dad's hand open with pruning shears while they were working in the garden. I just happened to call home that day and got this report from my sister, "I don't know what happened, exactly. They came in, and mom was crying and dad was swearing - and you know how he never swears."
I realized that maybe I hadn't been watching my language enough the day Ella asked me how to spell fuck. And then there was the day I dropped a huge container of blue berries in the produce section of our shee-shee grocery store, and I heard Lily say, with her best little southern accent, "Son of a beeeech!" People within earshot were either smothering their laughs or looking appalled.
It might be too late for the girls not to pick up on my cursing, but maybe I still have a chance with Campbell and Elizabeth.
2. Eat candy - I have a huge sweet tooth for candy - gummy bears, jelly beans, candy hearts and the like. I try not to binge on them, but some days it's hard. If it weren't for the fact that I chase after a ton of kids every day and that I come from a race of tall, skinny people, I'd probably weigh 300 pounds. I have a stash of candy in a bowl in the bookshelf in the kitchen. The girls know it's there, but my goal is not let them catch me eating out of too often - or to catch me eating cake for breakfast.
It's not that candy is forbidden in our house. The kids get treats on a regular basis, it's just that I want them to be older before they develop a sugar addiction.
3. Watch trashy TV - I know there are families who don't own TVs or who don't let their kids watch television. We aren't one of those families. We usually don't let the kids watch during the week, but on the weekend they do get to watch their fair share of SpongeBob, Dirty Jobs, AFV, and The Simpsons.
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I love The Real Housewives shows on Bravo. The women simultaneously crack me up and horrify me. I don't want the girls watching such tripe until they are old enough to understand the camp value.
But they totally watch Top Chef (go Carla!) and Project Runway with me.
4. See the extent of my migraine pain - I generally try not to let the kids see just how much pain I'm in when I have a migraine. There's no real reason other than not wanting them to worry that I'm going to die or something. Both girls have fertile imaginations, and it wouldn't surprise me if at some point one of them decides that I have a tumor and am going to die.
Here are some things that the kids see me do on a regular basis.
1. Hug and kiss their dad
2. Read - I firmly believe you can't teach kids the value of reading if you don't read for pleasure yourself.
3. Knit - ditto the reading (I was so thrilled the day Campbell pointed to someone on TV and said "Knitting!")
5. Get frustrated or angry without resorting to throwing a tantrum
6. Have mild disagreements with their dad and solve them without resorting to screaming or yelling
7. Laugh and tell jokes
8. Do paying work
9. Do housework
10. Shower - I sincerely wish this weren't true, but I haven't managed to impress upon the girls that the ONLY reasons they should bug me while I'm in the shower are if the police are banging on the door or someone is bleeding profusely - and no Lily a papercut doesn't count
11. Tell them how much I love them
Those are my lists. What are yours? If you decide to create one, leave me a comment and let Kate know. She'll put a link up on her blog, too.