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Pancake Needs a Time-Out

September 30, 2009

By Janey Pancake

“What are you fucking dooooo-ing?!”

Why, here we have captured Pancake in a tranquil moment with her angelic child.

Why, here we have captured Pancake in a tranquil moment with her angelic child.

This was the question that my 2 ½ year old daughter asked me on Sunday morning while I was mindlessly picking up some toys that she had strewn about her room, thereby unintentionally destroying her creative vision for a particular stuffed- animal vignette.

It goes without saying that you do not want your toddler child to say the word “fuck” – ever – but she had used the word correctly and appropriately in her questioning.  There was a part of me that was proud of both her language comprehension and the artistic passion that informed her palpable outrage.  I knew that I couldn’t react – even when she repeated the question with a practiced intensity and finger pointing.

The worst part about this scenario is, it is entirely my fault (and maybe a little bit of my brother’s – see:  Family Summer Vacation, Horsefuck *cough*) because I tend to overuse the ribald language.

Giving up my habit of swearing has proven to be an incredibly challenging task.  I vigilantly monitor myself when speaking in the presence of my children – so much so that my conversations are now filled with uncomfortable, long pauses while I wrack my brain for a more appropriate noun, verb or flavoring particle – fuck is a very versatile word, after all.  With great practice, I have almost entirely eradicated the word from my day to day usage – but regrettably there is one place in which I am afraid I have not been successful in my purge:  My car.  I have kind of a bad temper already and I am a genuinely terrible driver, cruelly equipped with a non-existent sense of direction to make things worse – it is a most unfortunate combination.  The act of driving anywhere is always a frustrating endeavor for me and one which routinely provokes sudden bursts of irrational anger – because as dangerously incompetent behind the wheel as I am – there always manages to be someone else on the road in my proximity who is even worse.  My righteous indignation at other motorists is completely hypocritical, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling wrathful on a day to day basis – screaming, ”WHAT ARE YOU FUCKING DOING?” while driving comes as natural to me as the act of breathing air itself.  This of course makes me not only a jerk but also a bad parent.

Having my daughter use my own words against me (and so soon, too) was a very illuminating experience – clearly my ways need to be mended.  It is not acceptable adult behavior to yell, “DIE, SHIT-HEEL, DIE!” at your cell phone* while driving – even when my children are sleeping and presumably unaware.  Finding a new means of emotional expression is the order for the day – I really don’t want to be getting a phone call from the kind staff members of my daughter’s PDO program informing me that the light of my life just boasted about horsefucking her snack.  Ahem.

*those of you who have tried (and failed) to contact me via my old cell phone at any given time over the last few years, you know that phone had it coming.  I found an astonishing amount of pleasure in the act of ripping the thing apart with my bare hands, saving the dismantled parts in a bag and then smashing them to pieces on my concrete floor with a ball peen hammer.  I WILL SEE YOU IN HELL, OLD CELL PHONE.


6 Responses to “ Pancake Needs a Time-Out ”

  1. CJ on September 30, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Hilarious! In my own effort to clean up my language in the car or on the phone, I have wondered why there must be bad words at all. We encourage and cheer our tikes when they in impersonate us in every other way, but one little slip of one of society’s predetermined bad words and our parenting capabilities as a whole are questioned. I will continue to ponder why such importance is placed on avoiding a dozen words or so that they will no doubt end up using as adults with no harm to their psyches, but in the meantime, in the words of my 4-year-old, “Aw, fuck it.”

  2. Sara on September 30, 2009 at 8:26 am

    I look forward to introducing Fifi to ‘cock pancake’.

  3. pancake on September 30, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Wonderful, CJ and Sara – thank you both for that! I was kind of proud, actually, she was furious and so her choice of words made perfect sense in that context.

  4. anncine on September 30, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Nice…I have so much to teach her *rubs hands together* “Hi Anne, come on…I’m down stairs.” That was goddamn adorable.

  5. Eric B. on September 30, 2009 at 11:02 am

    My 4 year old girl wanted a snack, and her momma said that she had to finish her breakfast first. After a heated discussion, she screamed “Mommy, If I eat my breakfast first, I’ll be too fucking full to eat my snack!!!”

    Oh, and Ball Peen Hammer is so much fun to say…

  6. Jackson on October 15, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    your children are learning how to be awesome Jane, keep up the great work. i almost shit myself with laughter when i first heard this story from Anne. Delightful awesomeness this story is.

    a wise person once said “teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside.” and then she smoked some crack.