When I was a child, words like barf and fart were not within my scope of language. (I can't believe I wrote those. I typed them. Here.)
When I was a child, I met such words with a pursed-lip revulsion because I existed within a very narrow world. Indeed and completely without pride I confess I was a holier-than-everyone kind of a gal. For years. What can I say? I'm working on it.
I wonder if my very proper German-Canadian grandmother, who expected us to declare after dinner we were "sufficiently suffonsified", was at the root of my stuffiness. Wouldn't it have been a bit clearer and easier, at 6, to state "I'm full" or, quelle horreur, "Oosh, am I stuffed". (Thanks Nana, RIP, I have impressed many a word nerd with that near perfect specimen of a word).
Personally, I like to blame all things quirky on the dearth of extended family in my youth. No blacksheep aunts and uncles to make our holiday dinners interesting, actually no aunts and uncles at all. So no rougher cousins to teach us nasty things while huddled in the basement under shelves that groaned with preserves. Nothing to be learned but not to be repeated in front of the oldsters. Maybe that, that was it.
But what I do know for certain is that, as I work diligently toward shedding that image I always had of myself as both better and way, way less likeable and capable as everyone else (I know, right?!) and as I strive to provide my children with a more level-headed entree into the world, I find that what I really want is to get over that pursed-lip girl I was, so many moons ago.
And so. Without further ado. I ask you all:
Barf, ralph, puke, vomit, chuck or even upchuck? We exclusively said "throw up". Later I added purge.
Ginch or gaunch? Knickers, tighty (gag) whiteys? I missed this debate entirely. Underwear, and probably undies.
Fart? We never did that at Casa Cox. We absolutely and pathologically held 'em in. Tightly. We said (insert Erkel voice here): "who had gas?" and wrinkle our noses.
Now I teach my kids toot and fluff, which are both totally lame-ass, I know, but also cute. I mean I kinda want fart to be an inappropriate word they "wouldn't" say in front of their mother, the one for which I can practice my lying disapproving face and a smirk.
Even snot could earn us a smack or a glare. We never called those green things boogers or my personal favourite, booger nuggets. Honestly, I guess we just said we had a runny nose. (Yawn).
Is it any wonder I spent most of my childhood trying to fit in, and all of my adult life figuring out how, how, how to get that stick out of my ass?
So I want all the best words from your past. And the ones you are teaching your kids. Do you care if they know with whom it is appropriate to use these words, or are they simply a part of their everyday vocabulary?
Please. Because I have a psychotic urge loosen my kids up (they're horrified by orange cheese, people), but what is too loose? My children's futures are in your hands. Give me all you've got, the good, the bad, the crass and the ugly. Seriously. I'm desperate.