September 13th, 2010

DIY Expletives Instead of Turkey Turds

Karrie McAllister

I really thought I was doing the right thing when my first child was born, because normally as soon as the key hits the ignition I turn from the coupon-clipping PTO mom into a disgruntled sailor.  There are no boundaries when it comes to what comes flying out of my mouth.  So when the little ears in the backseat got just big enough to be connected to her mouth, I funneled every bad word I knew into two tiny ones: turkey turd.

It worked well until my toddler and I stepped into the post office where she spent the entire mile-long chanting “tuwkey tewds, tuwkey tuwkey tuwds tuwds tuwds.”  My plan had failed, miserably, in a turkey turdish sort of way.

And now, these seven years and two children later, I have finally developed a surefire method of getting the verbal frustrations out without damaging the children or having to deal with other parents at the playground when they ask you why your kid is talking about poultry excrement.  I like to call it the FILL IN THE BLANK AND CONFUSE YOUR KIDS expletive, and I am so proud to introduce it to the world!

It is as simple as the Mad Lib games we used to play as kids and it goes like this:

“Great __(famous person)__ in the morning with ___(obscure food)___ for breakfast!”

There are multiple beauties for this one.  For one, it works in both a positive and a negative situation.  For example, it can be a cry of surprise and happiness such as when you realize you made it all the way into the grocery store without forgetting your list.  “Great Betty Crocker in the morning with frozen waffles for breakfast, I actually remembered my list!”  This shows your children that it’s good to express gratitude vocally, in an exciting way.

Conversely, when you’re back in the parking lot and someone bashes their cart into your car you can quickly switch it up to demonstrate anger.  “Great Thomas Edison in the morning with dill pickles for breakfast, doesn’t that woman know where she’s going?”

The next greatest part of this DIY is that your kids will never catch on to it and will be confused and bewildered by your knowledge of celebrities and appropriate food items.  The lack of repetition will make your easy-to-learn pattern virtually as kid-proof as that rubber padding on your coffee table.

Finally, you will challenge your own creativity as you continue to test yourself to mix it up and keep it fresh.  Forced to read great works and People Magazine and watch the Food Network, your brain will become sharper and more attuned to the new richness that your life now possesses.

Great Gertrude Hurlbutt in the morning with fleur de sel for breakfast, life is good.

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This Weeks Tip

For a creative way to limit your kids time in front of the TV… give them a small sum of money each week (over and above their allowance, if they get one). Each time they watch a television show, charge them a dime. They’ll begin editing their own TV watching!