Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cleaning Up Shop

It’s the start of a new year – a time when many of us commit to making self-improvements. Last year, I didn’t make any specific new year’s resolutions, but this year I need to make some changes.

I’m a parent now, which means it’s time clean up shop and do something about my potty mouth, the music I listen to, and the television shows I watch. Quinn’s almost ten months-old, and he already understands so much of what we say. We’re role models now. Yikes.  

The hardest resolution to keep will be cleaning up my language. It’s appalling some of the words that come out of my mouth, especially when I’m driving. I call people d-bags all the time. Not a nice word for my son to learn from his mother. If I drop something on the floor, I mutter a “dammit” or an even f-bomb.

Quinn can sometimes be a little… aggressive… with his affection, so I get bitten, slapped, scratched, head butted, poked in the eye and kicked in the throat every day. And sometimes it really, really hurts, and an “aw, shit! escapes from under my breath.

The phrase “that sucks” is commonly heard around our house, too. I’ve been so desensitized to it, I’d forgotten how vulgar the term really is.

I need to come up with nicer placeholder words so I can break this nasty habit. Of course, I still plan on cussing in this blog. You know, just for emphasis. Because it’s my blog, dammit, and Quinn won’t read this until he’s much older, if ever.

The music I listen to isn’t great either. We have satellite radio in the car, so my beloved hip-hop comes to me unedited. I already stopped listening to those stations when Quinn is with me, which is 99% of the time, but sometimes I still turn them on at a low volume when he falls asleep in the car seat. Bad mommy. (Hubs has already stopped listening to Howard-A**hole-Stern when he’s driving around with Q. Right, honey? Right?)

It’s not just the language in the songs that I need to pay attention to, but their content as well. Sometimes I’ll just be singing along, and the lyrics hit me all of the sudden and I wonder why I never paid attention to them before. Even if the dirty words are bleeped out, the topic of the song might not be suitable for young ears.

For example, there are a couple kids’ stations on satellite radio that play pop music (some of which I can tolerate, most of which I cannot), and I heard Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” on that station. Since when is a song about a one-night stand appropriate for children? And don’t even get me started on how much I dislike Katy Perry and wish she would stop (or start?) making music.

Starting now, my music will be reserved for my iPod only, and I will listen to it while I’m at the gym working on Operation B4.

Finally, some of the television shows I watch are just horrid. Not that I have time to watch TV anymore, but every now and then I get to watch one of my shows on the DVR while Q’s asleep and I’m folding laundry or something. I love CSI: (the original one in Las Vegas) and Criminal Minds. Some of the scenes in these shows can be just grotesque, not to mention their subject matter.

I vow not to watch them (or any others involving brutal murders, rotting corpses, slutty moms who sell drugs, likable serial killers, etc.) while Q is awake. When he’s older and can operate the DVR, I’ll have to figure out the parental controls, but that is another resolution for another year.

I don’t have the TV on much during the day anyway. If I do, Sesame Street or The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That is occasionally on in the background, and Quinn doesn’t pay much attention until they start singing. In the evening when Hubs gets home, is when we really need to make some changes to our television viewing.

Quinn loves the intro song to The Cleveland Show. It’s kinda catchy, plus it’s a cartoon, so he stops whatever he’s doing and stares at the TV when it comes on. That was sort of funny at first, but now I think he’s old enough that he shouldn’t watch it. That’s just one of the many shows that shouldn’t be on while Q’s awake. That means no more Tosh.0, Family Guy, or South Park either. (Sorry, Hubs.)

And the Parents of Year Award goes to...

What resolutions did you make for 2012? And what child-friendly words do you say instead of cuss words at your house?