Bad Words — “Oh, PICKLE!!!”
After a snowy Saturday at home, I was cleaning up after dinner. I washed every dish, pot and pan from a full day of snow-inspired cooking. I placed the last bowl on top of the drying rack and turned around to dry my hands when the glass bowl slipped. It knocked into the open bottle of wine standing beside the drying rack sending the open wine bottle flying off the counter, falling in slow motion, bouncing off my foot and splashed all over the floor, dishwasher and surrounding cabinets.
“SSSHHH*TT!!!” slipped out of my mouth in easy hearing range of my husband and all three of my children eating their dessert at the table.
A hush fell over the house as I waited to see if anyone realized what just happened.
After a few beats of silence, I took a breath and said, “Wine…all over the place,” by way of explanation to my husband. He came in to survey the damage and see if I needed help. Then he went back into the dining room to join the kids. I thought I got off lucky. I thought no one heard my slip and my kids still had virgin ears.
Then I heard my oldest say something about, “that word Mommy just said,” and I knew I was caught.
“Oh no, he heard me?” I asked.
“Yeah, you should have seen his face,” said my husband, imitating our second-grade son’s wide-eyed open-mouthed grin.
So we all went back into the dining room to make sure he knew it was not an okay word.
“I’m sorry guys. A bottle of wine fell on my foot and spilled all over the place. It hurt and it made a terrible mess. It was a big surprise that kind of scared me at first. I shouldn’t have said that. It’s a bad word. I’m sorry. Please don’t ever repeat what you heard. I’m sorry you heard Mommy say a bad word.”
“You don’t have to be sorry, Mommy,” said my oldest. “I liked it.”
Suppressing chuckles, my husband and I told him he shouldn’t like hearing that word.
“Did you like it because you got to see that Mommy isn’t perfect and I sometimes make mistakes, too?” I asked.
“Nope. I just like it ’cause I got to hear a bad word.”
Great. Role model of the year over here!
“What bad word was it?” asked his little brother.
“Yeah, what word?” parroted his three-year-old sister.
“Nevermind!!” we both told them.
“What? I want to know! What was the bad word?” pressed my six-year-old.
“Bad word, bad word, we want to know the bad word,” sang my daughter.
“Enough. We’re not telling you, so just let it go.”
“C’mon, please?” they begged.
“PICKLE?” our daughter asked. “Pickle’s not a bad word!!” she giggled.
“See? That’s why we won’t tell you. You’ll just repeat it,” Daddy explained.
“Oh, PICKLES!” laughed the Kindergartener.
“Pickle, pickle…pickle, pickle, pickle…” sang out our youngest.
“OKAY. For the rest of tonight, ‘Pickle’ is a bad word. No one else is allowed to say, ‘Pickle,‘” said my husband.
A complete chorus of “PICKLE” sung in a round by three giggling children then erupted at the dinner table.
My husband and I got up from the table shaking our heads and went into the kitchen.
“Nice move, I know,” I said as I hung my head. “I’m getting another glass of wine.”
“Yeah,” he agreed as he poured the dregs of the bottle into my glass. “This will all be better if we just get pickled.”