Fudgsicle: In Which Auntie Kimberly Tries to Stop Swearing in Twenty-One Days

Fudgsicle. Sugar cookies. Fudgsicle. Sugar Cookies.

I’m clutching the steering wheel of my car, mentally preparing for a quick trip to the grocery store, with my Inner Coach egging me on.

Fudgsicle. Sugar Cookies.

 (“Say it like you mean it!”)

Fudgsicle!!! Sugar Cookies!!!

 (“Are you a woman or a mouse? I can’t HEAR you!”)


You see, I’m trying to develop a new habit, and “they” say that 21 days of constant repetition is the key. (Of course, “they” also said that eggs were good for us. Then bad for us. Then good for us again. So I guess my source is somewhat suspect).

Anyway, for the last four years, Captain AmeriCute’s car travel has been in a giant child car seat that requires a mechanical engineering degree to properly connect all the straps and buckles. (I can’t even figure out how to disconnect them). But my sister recently had an announcement to make:20151016_122307

“Good news! Brady is in a booster seat now, so you can take him places in your own car!”

Fudgsicle. Sugar Cookies.

So here’s the scene that should have gone through my mind:

Brady and Auntie Kimberly are sitting at a cozy table at Starbucks, Auntie Kimberly sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte and Brady enjoying an organic apple juice. (Hey, this is MY Auntie Fantasy. Don’t judge. Get your own).

Brady: This is the best day ever! Thank you, Auntie Kimberly!

Auntie Kimberly (beaming): You’re welcome! You are the best nephew ever!

But here’s the problem. The thing is, I’m usually a nice person. If we arrive at the post office door at the same time, and you have your arms full of packages, I will open the door for you. If we are in line at Whole Foods and my cart is so full that I will probably need to auction off an organ to get out of the store, I will let you go in front of me with your single gluten-, egg-, dairy-, and soy-free candy bar. If we ordered two Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks, and the barista informed us that there was only one left, I would politely step aside and…

Oh, let’s be honest. I’d distract you with the old “Hey, look over there” trick, grab the PSL, then run like Hades. But I am mostly nice. That is, except when I get behind the wheel of a car.  I’m never aggressive or reckless…but the aggressiveness, recklessness, and sheer stupidity of my fellow drivers often makes me very, very angry.  And makes me swear like a sailor who has dropped his tankard of ale two minutes after last call.

So here’s the scene that actually did go through my mind:

Brady is at pre-school, patiently standing in line to get a juice box, when a bigger kid cuts in front of him.

Brady: What the *@#! is wrong with you, you stupid #$^!&*????

Juice Box Monitor: Where did you hear that??????

Brady: Auntie Kimberly said it on the way to Starbucks.

Fudgsicle. Sugar Cookies.

So began my 21-day habit boot camp to replace my swear words of choice with more kid-friendly alternatives.  But partway through the journey, something occured to me.

I’ve posted some videos on YouTube to help Brady with his school lessons. One of the first ones was called “More and Less”, where I attempted to illustrate the concept by pouring varying amounts of Goldfish crackers in a clear plastic cup. The day after I posted the clip, my sister informed me that Brady loved the video. The bad news? He’d eaten nothing but Goldfish crackers all day long.

When I shared this story and made a comment about Brady missing the point, my friend C. replied, “Oh, he GOT the point. It just wasn’t YOUR point.”


I guess the moral is that our pint-sized superheroes learn from our behavior 24/7/365.  They pick up every movement and every action and every word — not just the stuff we want them to notice.

So it’s really not only my words that I don’t want Captain AmeriCute to witness.  It’s my anger.  Which I suspect is going to take a LOT longer than 21 days to fix.

Fu – I mean, Fudgesicle.

(Editor’s Note:  Photo credit goes to Captain AmeriCute himself, who was playing with my phone while we were riding in the car).

6 thoughts on “Fudgsicle: In Which Auntie Kimberly Tries to Stop Swearing in Twenty-One Days

  1. Pingback: It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses a Shoe. (Or an Election.) | Auntie Kimberly

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  3. At that age, all kids are like a sponge and absorb everything you say and do. I have a hard time not swearing in front of Hannah. Good luck!


  4. To gain control over my language, I once set up a fines for myself ($1 words, $5 words, and one $20 word) and, when I slipped, I gave the money to my secretary, Denise. It was expensive but it did help! Actually she got to keep the money for a trip.


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