A few weeks ago, I was making dinner and, as I was chopping up an onion, I cut my finger. It wasn’t a deep cut but it hurt, it caused some bleeding, and it made me yell out, “Fucking hell!”
What seemed like a second later, my almost four-year-old daughter (who had just been playing in the living room) was standing a few feet behind me.
“Daddy, you’re not supposed to say that word,” she said.
“That fucking word.”
She said it so calmly and without any expression. It was a little disturbing.
As Kate was looking up at me, I told her that she was right, that I shouldn’t use that word, all the while wondering how the heck she got over to the kitchen so fast. Even when I don’t think she’s listening, that kid hears everything.
Fast forward a few weeks later. While I was driving Kate to preschool one morning, a guy pulled out from a side street, cutting in front of me, almost hitting my car.
“Jackass,” I said, under my breath.
“What happened?” Kate said.
“Nothing, sweetie. I’m just frustrated at the driver ahead of me.”
“In the red car?”
“Yes, in the red car,” I said. ”No big deal. He surprised me, that's all.”
I drove the last two blocks to the preschool and parked the car. The guy in the red car, it turns out, was also going to the preschool. He parked a few spaces over. As I was getting Kate out of the car, she pointed to the guy (who was just getting out of his car) and said, “That’s the jackass!”
Luckily he was out of earshot, so there was no awkward moment. It was only another reminder that I need to be careful about what I say around my daughter. But hey, at least I didn’t use “that fucking word.”
Later, I realized this incident was eerily similar to a cartoon I drew years ago. I drew this cartoon below back in 2003, five years before Kate was born.
Now I’m thinking I should draw a cartoon about a guy winning the lottery.