I almost wrote out the word HASHTAG. Nothing makes you feel quite as old quite as quickly as writing blog posts. I remember the world before there were blogs. I remember when our online journals were, like, really deep, private diaries we would pour our hearts into and really hope our crush would catch all of the Romeo & Juliet references. Lol
This week, I was once again reminded that, while I am a multi-published author, and while I do manage two careers, a reasonably successful marriage, two human children and four dogs, my life is nowhere near perfect. In fact, my life is moving, stretching, breathing chaos, and that’s on a good day. That’s on a day where everyone stays on green at school, including ME, and the dogs don’t eat my good shoes, and no one shits in the middle of the floor in the foyer. That’s on, like, the BEST of days. Simply put, my life is a moody tornado, a sinking ship, and I’m the captain left holding the pail.
Tuesday morning, everyone woke up on time, which was, considered at face value, #miraculous because it was the first day back from Winter Break for everyone BUT me. Everyone’s alarm clock squeaked at 6:20am. Everyone’s clothes were waiting and ready to be donned. Everyone made it down for frozen waffles and/or peanut butter toast in an orderly fashion. My seven year-0ld was in a markedly not horrible frame of mind. She climbed up into her chair and looked at her food, and then looked at the dog and started to coo and whisper to him. Ordinarily, I would have told her to stop because she has no concept of hygiene, but I let it go. So what, her hands are caked in Pyrenees fur? So what, the dendrites and bacterium are lodged beneath her fingernails? Se la vie.
“Walter sure is a cute little bastard, isn’t he?” she asked, grime and all.
Both my wife and I both stopped short.
“What?” Sprinkles/Bae questioned. She was beginning to smile, and I could see it, because it’s hard NOT to smile at a seven year-old, who has the vernacular of a salt-worn sailor lost in the Caribbean, with rum in the crook of her arm, and a cabana boy named Paolo in her sights.
“I said, he’s a cute little bastard, isn’t he?” my tiny, brown-eyed beauty queen repeated, wearing her grey sweatshirt with the rhinestone hearts and her brand new black joggers. “I think he is.”
“You think he’s a cute little bastard?” I inquired.
“Yeah.” She looked back and forth between her two parental units.
“Are you saying bastard?” Pressed Sprinkles/Bae. Then, she looked at me. “Is she saying bastard?”
“What’s a bastard?” Queried my nine year-old, never one to be left out of a conversation.
“Where did you hear that?” I interrogated the foul-mouthed culprit, who was beginning to put two-and-fucking-two together. “Who says bastard?”
“No one,” her eyes got big and luminous. “I made it up in my brain.” Then, “My brain says bastard.”
“Your brain is seven,” I corrected. “Your brain doesn’t say words like bastard.”
“Oh, HER brain probably does,” snickered my oldest.
“You didn’t make up the word bastard,” Sprinkles/Bae put her hands on her hips. “You don’t make up dirty words. Someone says the dirty word and then you repeat it.”
“Bastard is a dirty word?” was her response.
I have failed here, as both a wordsmith and as a mother, I guess, because Baby Girl used what is commonly considered not a term to bandy about in polite society, despite what Game of Thrones would have us believe, AND because she is unaware of what the word actually means. Also, she is mistakenly under the impression that she created the word, which I believe dates back to medieval Europe, if not further. I am an abject failure.
“It came out of my brain,” she insisted later in the day, after her meltdown in her Eggo – the meltdown that proceeded our maternal advice to steer clear of insulting the parentage of her classmates – and after I arrived late at my own duty post at my own job because of the aforementioned episode. “I did it. I made up bastard. It’s me.”
My only consolation is Walter IS one cute little bastard.