I think I’m a terrible example for my kids.
I laugh at times when I probably shouldn’t. I encourage my kids in areas of humor that are not necessarily mainstream nor politically correct. And not only do I let my kids listen to music with semi-sketchy lyrics, I just sit back and listen to them sing those same lyrics at the top of their lungs.
The other day I posted on Facebook that Lucas and Claire’s new favorite song is Florida Georgia Line’s new song Sun Daze. Part of the refrain goes something like this…”All I want to do is wear my favorite shades and get stoned.” They sing it loudly and with abandon when it comes on, especially Claire. She’s old enough to know exactly what that means. I just sit back and listen to them when they sing. I don’t correct them or lecture them. I just listen to them. Maybe I don’t have to correct or lecture them. All three have heard me say, over and over and over again, that neither Stan nor I have ever done drugs. We’ve never been stoned. I can probably safely say, I’ll never get stoned in this lifetime. So maybe they don’t need me to reinforce the inappropriateness of the lyrics. But still…part of me thinks I should say a little something.
My dad had one of the most irreverent senses of humor of anyone I’ve ever met. He’s told inappropriate jokes for as long as I can remember. One of the first times I ever invited Stan over for dinner was a prime example of his extreme inappropriateness. We were sitting in the dining room. The crystal chandelier sparkled overhead. The white table clothe gleamed in soft light. The table was set with my parents’ fine china. The crystal glasses were full of water and wine. Stan and his fellow lieutenants sat around the table with me. My dad at one end and my mom at the other. My dad was a full colonel, and perhaps a bit intimidating to a bunch of lowly lieutenants. So perhaps my dad was trying to break the ice and make them feel comfortable. He began by clearing his throat and saying, “OK, so what has two fingers, speaks French and loves blowjobs?” The silence at the table was deafening. No one spoke. No one moved. Everyone was stunned into silence at my dad’s question. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, someone piped up. “Loves blowjobs, Sir?” they asked with a hint of fear in their voice. My dad’s reply was deep and rich and sure. “Yes. Loves blowjobs.” I look from my friends to my new boyfriend to my mom who is just sitting there shaking her head, and then it happens. My dad answers his question with relish. “MOI!” My mom’s head shaking got faster, the color rose up in her cheeks, and the table erupted in laughter. So I guess it’s safe to say, the apples don’t fall far from the tree.
Fast forward to the other day. Claire and I are in the car. Driving. She starts telling me about her day, finishing with, “Oh, Mom. We were telling some of the best jokes today.” The conversation went something like this….
Me: “You know I love a good joke. Let’s hear them!”
Claire: “OK, but some of them are not very, um, appropriate.”
Claire: “What shoes do pedophiles wear?”
Me: “Umm…should I really try to answer this?”
Claire: “White vans!” She says as she laughs along with the punchline.
Claire: “How ’bout this one? Why did the cowboy get a wiener dog?”
Oh NO! I’m thinking Broke Back Mountain now!
Me: “No idea.”
Claire: “So he could get a long little doggie! Get it?”
Nervous, relieved laughter bubbled up from within. How dare I go the Broke Back Mountain route in my head? What is wrong with me?
And then she finishes with this little gem which is so not appropriate but it has to be told….
Claire: “Helen Keller walks into a bar.” A long pause ensues. “And then a table and then a wall.”
Well, alrighty then. My work here is done. I confess, I’m a terrible role model, and I have passed on a terribly irreverent and completely politically incorrect sense of humor.
Oh, for the love of my children…