Monday, March 07, 2005

Do As I Say AND As I Do?

I always imagined that a job that involved looking after children would allow ample opportunity to emphasise that as an adult, I’m governed by a completely different set of rules and regulations, both moral and actual. I knew, of course, that I should be advocating good examples on a regular basis (politeness, personal hygiene, toilet seat etiquette etc.) but I didn’t appreciate that I’d actually have to demonstrate these as well.

As an example, let’s take swearing, or cussing as they call it over here. I know better than to go around effing and blinding in front of kids; but to be expected to eradicate all insurgent expletives from daily life is neither practical nor healthy. Human beings need a regular discharge of profanity or else they’ll go blind… or is that something else?

I was driving Kieran home from his piano practice the other week when another motorist swerved wildly across our path in order to enter a gas station. The effort and strain involved in, first of all, repressing my initial, natural response and replacing it with a “Gosh darnit, what the heck does that guy think he’s playing at”, gave me a migraine that lasted the rest of the day.

A few days later I was shredding some vegetables using one of those TV-advertised kitchen gadgets that remove the need for expensive, electrical blenders. Unfortunately, they also seem to remove the need for a second thumb as I sliced open a deep gash and spattered the carrots (OJ-like) with an even deeper shade of red.

SHHHHHHHHHHHOOT,” I screamed through gritted teeth. “This frikin’ contraption’s gonna kill some mother-loving, son of a gun one of these days!

The carnage was only stemmed by the amount of blood departing the scene and rushing to my throbbing temples instead.

But it’s not just the swearing. I can feel my metabolism start to twitch and alter whenever it gets close to the time for washing hands before dinner or when vegetables are on the menu. I’m rarely awake after eleven o’clock at night and I somehow, unconsciously make my bed the next morning. I’ve begun to share the TV remote control with other members of the household and I now wear fresh underwear every day, having laid it out neatly the night before.

Most serious and disturbing of all are the words, sentences and phrases that I never thought I’d utter in a million years, which now cascade unrestrained from my lips. Here then, in all their shameful glory, are my top ten inexplicable outbursts…

· “You know, there’s such a thing as too much television.”
· “Schools just don’t give out enough homework.”
· “There are kids starving in Africa who would eat those sprouts.”
· “That’s not music, it’s just a noise.”
· “And if (insert name of child’s latest hero best friend) told you to jump in the river, would you do that too?”
· “Got a complaint? Phone Childline.”
· “Never mind, taking part is more important than winning.”
· “Those toys are not going to tidy themselves up.”
· “Do you think I’m telling you this (a) for the good of my health and/or (b) cos I like the sound of my own voice?”
· “More broccoli? Mmm, yes please.”

7 Comments:

At 7/3/05 1:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I just can't believe this. Especially not since you are in the company of kids who ask you if you mean "hot" instead of "nice"..... "hot" try though....
Greenglassassmuncher

 
At 10/3/05 10:13 am, Blogger DC said...

Neil,

I think you're starting to fall apart - these things just aren't right - are you not the man whose instinctive response to a witty remark ( made at your expense ) is to swear at the person who made it ?

DC

 
At 10/3/05 5:18 pm, Blogger Neil said...

F#ck off!

 
At 10/3/05 9:39 pm, Blogger DC said...

Soaps,
Back on form !

DC

 
At 10/3/05 9:39 pm, Blogger DC said...

Soaps,
Back on form !

DC

 
At 10/3/05 9:39 pm, Blogger DC said...

Soaps,
Back on form !

DC

 
At 10/3/05 11:07 pm, Blogger Neil said...

Nice going, techy boy, techy boy, techy boy.

 

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