You little B****! What the eff are you doing?
Shut the eff up! I said I’m going to eff you up. Sit your dumb a** down!
Yes. These are the words a mom yelled at her THREE and FOUR year old children when they fell out of the laundry carts after they had been playing with them.
Let me back up. I had to visit my favorite place this week: the laundromat. (Tongue firmly planted in cheek!) As I circled level one of Hell (limbo…was waiting for the wash cycle to end…get it?) I was attempting to read my book but was unable to stay focused as I had had to make sure I wasn’t in the path of two kids playing in the business. I do laundry at night cause its less crowded and I usually don’t have to worry about bootleg DVD man or bored kids. During this late late night visit I peeped a young family with young kids.
I’m not judging; there were times The Bee would be hanging with me, head lolling, eyes red, as it would be way past time for her to go to bed. Sometimes you do what you’ve gotta do and at times the gotta do involved taking a footie pajama clad kid out with me. So when I saw the kids I just sat away from them because they had made the place their own play field. They ran around, carelessly bumping into other customers. They shrieked as only kids can and they decided the laundry carts were there just for them and went to town. The children were running around with those carts crashing them into each other despite several signs that request otherwise. The children were pushing each other in the carts, again ignoring the multiple signs around the place. So when the little girl fell out of the cart and the manager of the place went to to see if she were OK the Mom did what anyone in that situation would: she yelled at the kids. No. She cussed at those kids like they stole something and murdered the president. Cusses that I have only heard directed at other adults.
The kids then went on their normal activity and after I argued with myself to do SOMETHING (What?) I am ashamed to say that I did nothing. I didn’t know what to do and still don’t. Listening to their conversation I realized that this was the way this woman talked. As the kids clamored for a snack from the vending machine, Mom told them to settle the Hell down and pick something from the damn 50 cents row. In fact, even without anger she spoke to these children as if cussing was just a word and not inappropriate.
I curse around The Bee. I have a favorite cuss that I use when I drive that illicit groans or giggles but I will admit that I thought myself as lofty since I don’t cuss AT her. I guess its all bad. Cussing around her is just as bad as cussing at her. The words are harsh, hard and destructive. And it sounds as low class and low brow as I think.
As I listened to the mom and dad continue to swear and curse up a storm a few things came to mind. My swear jar needs to be dusted off. I can’t be a role model cussing and carrying on. I can’t hope that I am an example if I am the thing I don’t want her to become. I also didn’t step in, I’m ashamed to say. Yes, they were children and there is really no but. I just listened and didn’t do a thing. At work I would have stepped in, made a joke and asked Mom if I could distract the kids. As random citizen…what’s my role. I don’t know how I will react in the future and welcome suggestions.
What say you blogosphere?
I need your help.
This post is a part of Shell Things Pour Your Heart Out Wednesdays
Here are the Rules:
Write a post from the heart.
Something that has been weighing on you.
Something you feel passionately about.
Something you’ve been wanting to talk about.
A cause, a memory, a belief, a world view.