Bad Language

bad language

One of the first changes new parents make involves cleaning up whatever bad language habits they’ve developed throughout their child-free years. Even when the baby is much too young to understand, as parents we try to fill the air around them with pleasant thoughts and happy words.

Driving becomes the biggest challenge in this endeavor. I’m no exception. Rather than muttering the usual names and colorful adjectives for people who cut me off or blocked me in, I managed to refine my vocabulary to more playful terms like “kooky” or “clown” when my boys were in the car.

One day, while in a hurry to meet my wife for lunch, the kids and I were held up by heavy traffic exasperated by one particular driver who refused to let anyone pass. My patience was tested but I managed to keep it in check, uttering an innocent, “Come on, move over you clown.”

The comment would take on a whole new life as I was finally able to pass. I glanced over at the driver to offer my look of disapproval. But my expression quickly changed when I saw a fully costumed party clown complete with round nose, painted face, and orange wig. I’m quite sure the laughter he extracted from me was the most sincere reaction he would see all day.

(photo courtesy of Project1Photography/