Rhymes with Duck, Not Goose

I’ve been sitting on this story for awhile, mainly because I can’t believe it happened. If anyone dropped the F-Bomb in front of our sons, I figured it would either be my husband, his grandfather, my dad, or someone that most certainly was not me.

I was wrong.

Rhymes with Duck, Not Goose

The Monday after a conference, I found myself in a rush to finish up work, get the boys fed, and get out the door on time to have BigBrother to a baseball practice by five o’clock. I do not understand why our local youth leagues find five o’clock an acceptable time for practices; sometimes we even get stuck with a 4:30 practice. As a working parent whose partner works 24 on, 48 off, we sometimes luck out in that he can run the boys if I haven’t quite finished up my workday yet. This particular day did not fall into that happy space, and I rushed out the door with two little boys, two water bottles, an iced coffee for myself from my not-quite-a-Keurig, and my laptop and cell phone so I could finish work up at the baseball field.

We had just about ten minutes to make it to the middle of the city, which isn’t too bad. I should have gone the back way, and this experience caused me to use the back way from then on out, but I hadn’t yet learned my lesson. As such, I found myself coming down the hill into the factory section of our city right before five o’clock in the afternoon.

Quittin’ time, as it were.

A gentleman leaving one of the establishments that works for/with the fracking companies that have taken over our area found himself walking down the center line of the road. He wasn’t crossing the road and just happened to be centered on the line at that point in time as I came across the bridge and into the city limits. No, that would have been just fine. Instead, this gentleman was walking from his employer’s building to the convenience store down the street via the center line.

Ain’t nobody got time for that, buddy. I got a kid who needs to be at baseball practice in eight minutes and four more email to send.

It just so happened that my window was down.

It just so happened that as I came up next to him I momentarily forgot that my children sat behind me, buckled into their booster seats because safety ranks high on the scale of importance in this family.

It just so happened that as my head was next to his head for a brief second of 35mph, I said, “Get off the f@#$ing center line.”

And then I remembered my sons sat behind me. I did the Mom Cringe. Then I quickly evaluated the situation. The radio was turned up to a decent level. The two boys jabbered incessantly since we left the house. There was a chance, however slim, that they didn’t hear their mother drop the f-bomb.

A chance. A hope. A miracle.

I don’t think I got to blink an eye before LittleBrother says, “Mommy, you said the F-word.”

Hold your horses, KINDERGARTENER*.

“Hey, LittleBrother, how do you know the F-word,” I flipped it back onto him, because not being in trouble is more my favorite than being in trouble.

“Well, a kid said it to the Principal and he had to go to the office. I didn’t know what he said, so I asked another kid what he said, and he told me what the f-word was.”


After I stopped the laugh I wanted to laugh from bubbling out of my mouth, I asked BigBrother, “Do you know what the f-word is?”

“Oh, no. I only know innocent words like shut up and stupid.”

This is a blatant lie, as my husband’s grandfather has graciously exposed our sons to any number of colorful words over the years. But, whatever. BigBrother is also a rule-follower and knows certain words don’t belong in school. I didn’t feel very worried about it.

Still, I launched into a not-quite-hysterical discussion about how certain words can hurt others’ feelings and how we really shouldn’t say them. I apologized for using the word to the f@#$ing idiot man walking in the center of the road. I let them know that if they hear a word they don’t understand or recognize, they can always bring the word home to me and their Daddy and we’ll discuss it at home. I told them that talking about the “bad” words at school, even if you’re just asking your friend what it was or what it means, could get you in trouble if a teacher overhears the conversation without context.

They asked a number of questions. I answered them to the best of my ability without laughing so stinking hard. And then we arrived at the baseball field. On time. Despite the guy walking in the middle of the road, so my F-Bomb felt totally unwarranted. Classy, Jenna. Real classy.

So far, neither boy has dropped the F-Bomb to a friend, to a grandparent, in school, or to us. Which is more than I can say for myself since mid-May. Ahem.


* = (Yes, this happened near the end of Kindergarten; so deep my shame that I could not tell you about it until now.)

52 Weeks of Brotherhood: The One with the Pirates


Happy Brothers at a Pirates Game

We’ve been meaning to do this—take the boys to a Pittsburgh Pirates game—for, uh, years. For the first few years, it came down to knowing them as human being and not wanting to inflict that pain on ourselves on others. So we waited. Then we struggled with the understanding that their early bedtime meant an evening game would qualify as a disaster for us for other fans, so we kept looking at weekend games. And nothing ever, ever worked with our schedule.



This game didn’t either, mind you. The boys had to miss a soccer game, though to be fair I bought the tickets before soccer existed in our lives this year. (Though it’s not as if it’s a surprise. We’ve had soccer games every Sunday, September through the end October, for four years now.) But, whatever, we missed a game. Life goes on, and they totally didn’t mind.

Then there’s thing where my Husband wanted to be present for their first game.

Except he wasn’t. He was working. We took my Dad for his birthday (which is today; HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!). This was actually one of the better accidental choices as the boys felt as though they could get away with anything—obnoxious dancing any time the Pirates did anything remotely awesome, asking for all the foods, incessant talking. I’m just glad they were seated in front of the rows of parents behind them; I’m sure the families in front of them got an earful, especially when they were shooting the t-shirt cannon. Wow, BigBrother can be loud. Shocking. Not shocking. Sorry. Not sorry.


They ate footlong hot dogs. Nachos. Dippin’ Dots, which caused a mutiny even when I tried to point out that I’m from Ohio now and can no longer get Dippin’ Dots at social functions. The adults didn’t care as they had to send their children off to purchase their own Dippin’ Dots. Whoops? Sorry. Not sorry.

They made it through the whole game, even though the sixth inning, during which the Pirates game back from behind, continued for over 45 minutes. BigBrother didn’t care. He was a dancing machine during the sixth inning, especially as he was showing off for some girl. Oh dear.

Oh, You know

They got annoyed with the traffic leaving the game, but so did I because it was the worst traffic we’ve had leaving a game since late night games at Three Rivers Stadium.

I no longer feel bad that we waited, both intentionally and unintentionally, for so long to bring them to a game. Their doors are now adorned with “Let’s Go Bucs” signs and stickers from the amazing Pittsburgh Pirates Fatheads they received upon walking in the front gate. Last night they worked together to create the most perfect design on LittleBrother’s door, and today the plan is to work on BigBrother’s door. They’re excited about baseball—Pirates baseball in September—and that makes my heart explode with all kinds of Pittsburgh pirde. They’ve been wearing Pirates gear for years now, but now it makes sense to them on an individual level.

Plus, as a bonus, we got the light switch cover from the Fatheads as they have custom light switch covers. Epic. I love baseball!