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  • Gareth Ellis

I swear, I try not to swear

Oh fudge, what the flip, and shhhhh-ugar!

As a parent you have to get pretty imaginative when it comes to covering your swearing and pretending you haven’t said a rude word. Jess and I are definitely of the opinion that swearing will be strictly forbidden in our house, so I have to do everything to cover my sweary mouth.

This doesn’t just mean saying words like clucking banker, or truck you, because they’re words that can be mis-pronounced or heard wrong, so Emi or Rupert may swear by accident.

Also, Rupert is getting towards that stage where he wants to, and tries to at times, copy what we’re saying, which is great for teaching him new words, just maybe not naughty ones.

I must admit it’s hard though. The other day I was stepping over the stair gate and whacked my shin into the solid, wooden shoe cupboard. It hurt so badly that I genuinely thought I was going to throw up, and all I could say to the matter was ‘oh, fudgy wudgins that hurt.’

The reason was that after hearing me come down the stairs, Rupert had run out to greet me and was still milling about, so I had to keep a lid on the profanities.

The place it’s hardest? The car. Those with kids and those without, you tell me that you can keep your cool when either someone doesn’t indicate off a roundabout (which in Milton Keynes is a common road feature), someone pulls out on you when you’re on a 70 road, or someone steals your parking space.

When the kids aren’t in the car you can easily throw out a ‘nice indication, you twat!’ or a ‘fucking hell,’ as you slam on the brakes, but as soon as I strap the kids in the car I always manage to control myself. I don’t know how.

I can’t say I’m always perfect though. We went for a team meet-up in the height of summer and a friend of mine brought her young son. As my other friend asked me if I’d got sun cream on I instinctively, and fuelled by a lack of social interaction, replied ‘have I fuck.’ Then I looked down to my right and saw this innocent little face looking at my increasingly embarrassed one. Cue me very sheepishly and profusely apologising to my friend. In fairness, she said ‘He’s probably heard worse.’

I just don’t want the kids to grow up and say swear words, although I know it’s inevitable. When I was six I was playing I spy in the car with my brother, Dad and a family friend. The letter was B and we were all struggling, so I, from nowhere, blurted out ‘Bollocks.’

As my Dad furiously asked what I’d just said I replied ‘Bricks, bricks, I said bricks.’ I spy was banned from the car for a while. It was only 10 years or so later that I found out him and his friend were chuckling in the front. Well, you would wouldn’t you?

So, what do others do when their kids or other people’s kids are nearby? Do you find it impossible to cover up or do you manage to keep a fudging lid on that sugar?

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