1.17.2011

Copycat!

As a parent, have you ever reacted to something quickly and perhaps blurted out something not very proper? You realize it as soon as it comes out of your mouth. You look around wide-eyed and hope that your child with the bucket on his head didn't hear you.

Sometimes you aren’t as lucky and say the wrong thing when you just happen to have a captive audience like when your kids are in their car seats.

Being a role model for your child isn’t easy. We’re all human and we slip up, but I’m trying my hardest right now to practice good manners and think before I speak. I spent a good part of my adult life not thinking about who was listening unless I was “on-air”, and I will tell you that a TV newsroom would make a lot of people blush. It’s high stress, and the language can get ugly.

I have a good friend who I have known about 18 years, and he is now the godfather of my son. We met after college while living in Southeastern, NC when we started out in our broadcasting careers. I was in TV, and he was in radio. We both worked alone so we would team up, and cover events together so we would have company.

One evening, Columbus County where we were both assigned to cover its news, had some really wacky weather on an election night.

We had been working all day, and were continuing to work through the night because we had to do election returns, but for some reason Mother Nature wanted to lead my station’s newscast that evening. It was raining like a hurricane, and our police scanner reported that a “mobile home had been struck by the wind and debris was all over the road.”

I drove both of us in this downpour on a rural road to find a mobile home that got caught in a downburst of wind, which is not quite a tornado, but the damage is usually severe in these weather events. I unloaded my video equipment, which in 1993 weighed about 25 pounds. I turned on the camera, and the lens immediately fogged from the moisture, and I couldn’t see a thing. I lost it! It had been a very long election day, and on top of that frenzy, I had to deal with a weather disaster.  I think I said every ugly name in the book, and shed a few tears.  At the end of my dramatic meltdown, my TV competitor who was also a good friend, drove up in his vehicle. As soon as he opened his car door, and before he could get his camera,  it was like déjà vu. His mouth needed washing out with soap, too as the old saying goes!  My son's godfather never lets me forget that day.

Luckily, as I matured, my language skills also vastly improved. I tried to be a southern lady while on deadline, but on occasion, my inner Scarlett O’ Hara would emerge and through my feistiness, I would say some southern slang.  This leads us to this week’s family conversation.

My husband and JH were playing with our new Wii and my hubby wasn’t doing too well. My five year old was beating him so he mumbled words like “stupid move” or worse under his breath when he lost. When JH didn’t do well, he copied his dad and said some of the same things. My husband told him that he was wrong when he mumbled those unpleasantries earlier out of frustration, and he shouldn’t do it either.

A few minutes later as the game resumes, something else came out of my son’s mouth. He blurted out in his little southern accent, “What the HECK was that?” My husband shook his head, and said, “You shouldn’t say that either!”

JH said, “But mama says it.”

“I know she has said it and she shouldn’t say it either,” commented my my husband. I was warned by him not to use this phrase before when he heard me say it one day when something surprised me.

“But dad,” said JH quietly. “Why does she say it? Doesn’t she know that little boys copy their mamas?”

Well, I do now.

Until next time……….I’m off to have a cup of tea!

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