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The Post In Which I Fail As A Mother

Me to Bridget (aged 9) when I fail as a mother: Honey, I’m sorry I lost it with daddy in front of you today.

Bridget: You mean when you yelled you were sick of his fucking napping all the time while you slave away?

Me: Yes, I did use the F-word and it was very wrong, but I never say that in front of you.

Bridget: That’s the fourth time you’ve said the F-word in front of me.

Me: That’s not accurate.

Bridget: You yelled What the fuck?! at daddy that time at the train station at The Grand Canyon in front of everyone.

Me: Because your father just had to “quickly buy food” before the train left and we almost missed it and it was the only train out of that godforsaken Grand Canyon where hundreds of people die every year, as documented by Over The Edge: Deaths in Grand Canyon, when they get too close to the edge for a photo and the wind knocks them over and they fall five thousand feet. Let’s not mince words, your father almost killed us.

Bridget: And you said the F-word that time you, me and Clare were in the McDonald’s drive-through when you were going to buy us McFlurries and Clare was kind of mopey and you said you were “so fucking tired “of throwing us Harry Potter birthday parties and assembling our Tiny Tykes swing sets and cooking everything without cheese because we hate it, when we couldn’t even be nice to you.

Me: What children don’t like cheese?

Bridget: And then you called me a little fucker when we were on the subway train going from the airport to Paris.

Me: I absolutely did not call you a little fucker, I called you a little shit because I thought you told me to “shut up.”

Bridget: But I didn’t tell you to “shut up,” I told you to “stop it” when you were trying to make me laugh when I was tired.

Me: But I thought you said “shut up.”

Bridget: But I said “stop it.”

Me: Well who can hear “stop it” when someone says it so pitiful-quiet after I’m taking them to Paris where they get to eat macaroons and ride on a ferris wheel over the Seine. I mean who can hear that after they haven’t slept on a twelve-hour flight to reach a destination that will make some fucking childhood memories?!

Bridget: That’s five times you’ve said the F-word in front of me.

Me:  I consider that entrapment.

The fucking end! Now share your favorite moment of bad parenting.

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26 comments

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  1. Steph
    Steph 23 January, 2014, 09:45

    Bwahaha! I have SO been there. My son has been keeping score and throwing my indiscretions back in my face for 15 years. You’re not a bad mother,they just have nothing better to do.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 23 January, 2014, 09:51

      I only wish their memories of all of the good things were as detailed as their memories of the bad. I guess this is called Parenthood.

      Reply this comment
  2. Foxy Wine Pocket
    Foxy Wine Pocket 23 January, 2014, 09:56

    HAHAHA! They’re clever little fuckers, aren’t they? I mean, sweet and smart angels with incredible memories…

    Reply this comment
  3. sonora
    sonora 23 January, 2014, 10:49

    Five times? You’re a f&!@ing saint!

    Reply this comment
  4. Helene Cohen Bludman
    Helene Cohen Bludman 23 January, 2014, 12:50

    LOL! You’ve got one precocious kid. 😉

    Reply this comment
  5. Rosie Carrillo
    Rosie Carrillo 23 January, 2014, 13:07

    Ahhhh the monosyllabic workhorse of our society! Are there another four letters combined that are so versatilely interchangeable? As old as I am, perhaps I had never heard it before my 17th or 18th year….I credit my husband of 52 years with it becoming a staple of my linguistic repetoire. I try mightily to not make use of it in front of Grandchildren….But, other drivers have necessitated apologies to the oldest, at least. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 23 January, 2014, 17:15

      My dearest Rosie, may I say that the phrase “monosyllabic workhorse” may indeed be the most astute assessment of said-word to my knowledge and I may have to cadge that. The thing that makes this word so satisfying is that it can be used as a noun, “What fresh fuckery is this?” A verb, “Shall we f%$k in the arbor?” An adjective, “Justin Bieber’s mug shot was fucking ridiculous!” And even as a gerund, “Do you mind me fucking you over, Gwyneth?” Actually, you should check with Wiktionary on that last one, gerunds have always fucking confounded me.

      Reply this comment
  6. Kymberly (@KymberlyFunFit)
    Kymberly (@KymberlyFunFit) 23 January, 2014, 18:05

    Suggestion that will increase your classiness beyond its already stratospheric levels: curse at your children in French. Or any foreign language. You can avoid entrapment that way plus a lot of counseling expenses and phone calls from the principal’s office. Not that I have any experience in this strategy or anything…….. Enfant du merde!

    Reply this comment
  7. Jennifer Steck
    Jennifer Steck 23 January, 2014, 18:46

    Your daughter is brilliant. She’s going to change the world. Haha!

    Reply this comment
  8. Whit
    Whit 4 February, 2014, 00:53

    I’m so glad I chose this as the first post to read here. This makes me both terrified and excited to have kids of my own… I’m sure my vulgar mouth will provide me with plenty of parent teacher conferences with which I can fill my evenings. High five that kid!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 4 February, 2014, 09:48

      Hey Whit — You might want to watch the Fatherhood documentary by Hank Azaria. I’m loving it. He was a reluctant dad, but making the most of it.

      Reply this comment
  9. Robin
    Robin 14 February, 2014, 20:54

    If it makes you feel any better (OK, it probably won’t, but I’ll tell it anyway), a friend of mine has been known to be, shall we say, expressive in her feelings about other drivers here in Greater Boston (mind you, they always have it coming, but…). She realized she was going to have to censor herself a bit more around her then-2-year-old cherubic blonde daughter when the two of them were out running errands one day, and she had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting some jackass who’d decided to turn right in front of her with no warning whatsoever (because using turn signals is apparently seen as a sign of weakness here in Massachusetts). As she was catching her breath, the Voice From The Backseat cheerfully piped up “Pigfucker!” Oy…

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 14 February, 2014, 23:20

      Oh Robin I adore you for sharing this tale. And I think I may even adore your friend more. xo

      Reply this comment
  10. Diane D.
    Diane D. 16 February, 2014, 19:32

    You a funny girl, Grrl.

    Reply this comment
  11. Crystal
    Crystal 20 October, 2014, 13:59

    Lmao! That is seriously funny fucking shit! As a mother of 3, sometimes I just have to drop the F-bomb to let them know I’m really close to the edge of losing my shit.

    Reply this comment

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