soccer2Dr. O’C and I are trying to clean up our language. We’re not sailors or anything, but both are fond of the odd invective to hammer home a point during a heated ‘debate’. But Boy Z has reached the stage at which he repeats, to the best of his ability, everything that comes out of our mouths. I don’t have any moral objection to cussin’ – as they call it where I came from – but I do think it is a bit intellectually lazy. I also think if you’ve got a toddler ‘fucking’ and ‘shitting’ himself around day care it reflects kind of badly on the parents.

Thus Operation Potty Mouth has begun. No more cussing in front of the kid. We’re doing pretty good, but in the heat of the moment, we can still slip up.

I would like to point out that Dr. O’C slips up more than I do. It’s an Irish thing.When she gets mad, her face turns as red as her hair and she starts firing obscenities.

(Love you, babe.)

I’m much more even tempered*. When I slip up, it usually involves music. For example, the boy and I were dancing around the living room the other day to Prince. I was singing along happily…

…It’s all about love being in charge of this life
And the next…
Why all the cosmic talk?
I just want u smarter than I’ll ever be
When we take that walk

Come here baby, yeah
U sexy motherfucker
Come here baby, yeah
U sexy motherf…


I never really think about song lyrics when I’m belting them out in the car or in the shower or while cooking the dinner. I’ve always thought that Parental Advisory warnings were a bit silly. In fact, I had a problem with Al Gore for the longest time because of his wife’s puritanical crusade against musicians in the late 1980’s – a crusade that was inspired, ironically, by a Prince song.

Now, I don’t think – as Tipper Gore’s PMRC did – that rock music is responsible for “the decay of the nuclear family in America”. Far from it. It’s a big part of my nuclear family. But I’m wondering if I have to start to censor music with explicit lyrics. Runs counter to my beliefs, but my experience thus far as a parent has been all about putting some beliefs on the shelf in deference to the kid’s best interests.

If I do censor, I may miss out on moments like the other night. Putting Boy Z to bed, my iPod shuffled it’s way to The Bloodhound Gang’s “Fire Water Burn”**. Now, I do like this song – but it’s a reasonably foul one. So I just tried to talk loudly and nonsensically through the beginning of the song, sprinkled with lyrical gems like…

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
We don’t need no water let the motherfucker burn
Burn motherfucker burn

But at the end of this particular track, there’s a change in the tempo and tone and I couldn’t resist a little sing-a-long…

Ooh ooh
C’mon party people
Ooh ooh
Throw your hands in the air
Ooh ooh…
Wave ’em like you don’t care

soccer1And with those high pitched ‘oohs’ the boy’s attention was captured. So, I did what any good father would do – I taught him a dance move. I showed him how, if one were a party person, one would throw one’s hands in the air. I demonstrated how one may do so as if not caring.

In short, I taught the boy how to raise the roof. And he loved it. And now all you have to do is say – in a Jimmy Pop falsetto – ‘ooh, ooh’ and he’ll show you how it is done.

But at what cost these fresh moves?


*It is possible that this statement may elicit some cussin’ from the good doctor – most likely a phrase beginning with ‘bull’ and ending with ‘shit’.

**I hold Courtney partially responsible for this. She suggested, I’m assuming with tongue firmly in cheek, The Bloodhound Gang as antenatal music. I haven’t used it, but she did get me thinking about the damn band.

***I know that the soccer photos don’t really apply to the topic at hand, but they’re too awesome not to use.

If you must, The Bloodhound Gang’s “One Fierce Beer Coaster” is available from Bloodhound Gang - One Fierce Beer Coaster.

icon for podpress  The Bloodhound Gang "Fire Water Burn" [4:52m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download