Talk of the Town

Say such a thing? Not us. We've got halos over our heads.

Say such a thing? Not us. We’ve got halos over our heads.

I drove home in traffic after fetching the girls, and we got stuck in the left-hand lane and missed our turnoff.

“Oops,” I said.

Then I passed the next turnoff, unable to merge into the right-hand lane in my oversized beast (yep, I’ve moved up to an SUV from a station wagon). The blind spots are big and the windows are tinted (by the previous owner), making me feel like a CIA dork in dark sunglasses and with a telephone cord coming out of my ear.

Ok, this means get agro. So I put on my flickers and started pushing into the right-hand lane and almost hit a car.

They honked.

And I said, “Fuck!” and a lot more as I veered back into my lane and drove ahead.

I finally turned right 10 streets down from our normal turnoff to backtrack home, and my 11-year-old daughter looked out and said, “Ahh, that’s why you said, ‘Oops.’”

And the youngest girl said, “And that’s why you said, ‘Fuck.’”

“Well…” I said, thinking of a response.

But she continued: “And that’s why you said, “Mother…”

“Yeah, yeah…” I said.

But before I could come out with any sort of explanation, the six-year-old sat forward and said, “I know, Daddy. Those words are for grownups. I’m not going to say them at school or anything, not like you and Mummy.”

I didn’t know whether to breath a sign of relief, hand in my rights to parent or provide an eloquent explanation about how such language is in the masterpieces of literature.

So I drove home with my mouth shut.

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