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Spelling it out

Since both my children have reached the highly verbal “parrot” age, I’ve had to really watch my mouth. I used to swear quite a bit, before I had kids. Now, I still swear, only I spell it out. Sure, it’s more time-consuming, but sometimes you just need to let out a good “F-U-C-K.” Because “Mother-Effer” doesn’t quite cut it.

Something weird has started happening, though: I now spell TOO much, and words that don’t necessarily need to be spelled.

When talking to the stylist at our local children’s haircut hut, I told her I’d like her to get rid of my younger daughter’s “m-u-l-l-e-t.”

Really? That needed to be spelled? It would have been so damaging if my kids heard that word?

I can’t seem to turn it off. When we go out with other adults, on double or triple dates, I find myself spelling all of my swears. It’s off-putting to our friends. “I didn’t know I was at the Scripps National Spelling Bee,” one friend said after I spelled out the whole word clusterfuck.

It has spread like wildfire. I spell almost everything. “I’m going to get the t-o-m-a-t-o-e-s,” I told my husband last night. He replied: “Oh, g-r-e-a-t.”

Or I misspell words and confuse him. “I desperately need to run u-p-s-t-a-r-e-s for a few minutes to decompress.”

“Wait – what?” he says. “What is upSTARES?”

My husband, a not-terrific speller, chooses instead to speak French, in which he is fluent. Unfortunately, I am not, so it makes for a lot of misunderstandings.

“What’s Maird mean?” I asked him the other day after he said it.

“Maird!” our younger daughter echoed.

“It means shit,” he told me, impatiently.

“Shit,” our older daughter repeated, running out of the room. “Shit shit shit shit shit!”

My thoughts exactly.


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