Care factor

My son has started saying a couple of words and it is oh so very exciting. “Na” seems to mean anything from Blah Blah his stuffed manky rabbit to his cot or a banana. “There” is usually said when he is pointing to a plane in the sky or someone with a VPL and then there’s the “mumma” and “dada” that makes my little heart melt (slightly awkward that he also calls Cheef Dog “mumma” as well… but he will get there).
The other night while partaking in the 6-7pm peak hour home rush (tea, bath, story bed), Alfie threw a piece of mandarin off his high chair tray and said “oh, shiiiit”.
I died.
Then I laughed. Which was wrong. So of course he said it again. Then I died a little more inside. Oh shit.
How can this be my kid’s FIRST sentence?
Oh, that’s an easy one to answer: I have a potty mouth.
When Alfie was first born, we introduced a swear jar into our home. It became filled with IOU’s from me, and then it was bypassed as I kept nicking money out of the jar to buy coffee. I lied to my husband about how good I was getting at avoiding the nasty words, and then I would head out for beers with a bunch of pals and push out as many swear words as possible. It was like I had been saving them up. Sometimes I would sneak outside and secretly whisper naughty words behind the bin, crouching so I wouldn’t get caught. When driving on my own, I would shout big f-bombs as loud as I could just to shake them out of my system. I would always feel heaps better afterwards.
My care factor levels have changed post baby. What I didn’t care about before – such as using the F word as commonly as the word ‘and’ – is something I really care about now, especially in the presence of my kid (and my dog, who has a mouth like gutter trash).
I used to care about wearing lipstick on the weekend. This is now reserved for work time and playtime. There’s nothing worse than seeing my son covered in red smooches like he’s been rolling around in a barrel of tarts. I’m now two people – mum and office worker. I wear two uniforms – jersey and crepe. Both of which usually have a line of snot across the thigh or a scraping of yoghurt on the shoulder, which I have been known to scratch off on the train. Care factor.
On Saturday, I was playing mum wearing jersey sans lippy at Coles. Alfie lost his poo and started hailing from his trolley seat.  I felt the pressure – I was halfway through a mega shop – and I had to fix the problem pronto. I popped a bag of rice on my head and my kid thought this was the best. We finished the shop in hysterics, the whole time balancing the bag of Sunraysia on my skull. My care factor for others was low, but by God, the care factor for getting through the mega shop entertaining my son was as high as the sky.
As I headed towards the register I bumped into someone from my work world. He looked a little shocked. This person possibly did not know that I was a mum, had never seen me without lippy, without a frock, in jeggings and sneakers and a t-shirt bearing Jason Priestley’s face.
We shared our hellos and I introduced Alfie to the new face and he clapped wildly. My work acquaintance had a little giggle and I explained that this was the ‘other me’. He continued to laugh and so did my son. I was confused. I turned to push my stacked high trolley towards a counter and the bag of rice fell off my head and split open. My cheeks reddened.
Then Alfie summed up the situation perfectly: “Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiit.”

This post first appeared on Bubba West.

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