Sunday, June 3, 2007

My Big Mouth

There are many things that I will learn being a young father. Having a raunchy sense of humor will certainly allow me to learn my fair share of lessons.

One never truly knows how their remarks are taken after they're said by the people around them. I am an over-analyzer and often consider events after they've happened, especially when I've made a mistake. Hopefully, some of you reading can learn from me and help yourself avoid social disaster.

First, I made a joke about a friend's newborn, relating him to a movie character. I love their son very much and appreciate their friendship. Because I don't want to spread my ill-humor at this wonderful baby's expense, or his parents, I will not repeat the "joke". I hope that they do not think less of me for what I said. There are times and ways to joke about our children, but it's probably better to keep it to one's own kids rather than about others.

Today, I was at a family event and my 20-month-old nephew was there. He is an amazing child himself, especially with his exceptional verbal skills. Some of the adults were sitting at the table adjacent to the kitchen, talking and joking. This boy walked into the kitchen, looking around with general curiosity. He opened the cabinet under the sink where there was a bottle of Pine-Sol. His father quickly ran over, shut the door, and pointed the youngster in another direction. During this, I joked, "Hey buddy, want some apple juice?" referring to the color of the liquid. The comment drew mixed reactions at best and I quickly realized my biggest error. Sure, the comment lacked taste. It was in mixed company that may not appreciate my raunchy humor. Neither of these would bother me if it wasn't for the following fact: it was said within earshot of my nephew. Hopefully he did not hear or did not put together that I was referring to the household cleaner.

It is likely that everyone forgot what was said five minutes later. I have not.

Knowing to censor myself in front of older kids is easy for me. However, I do not give enough credit to the little ones just learning to grasp language. I would hate to learn the hard way the consequences a slight comment can have. Hopefully, this confession and exercise will help me remember to think the next time I want to spit out an off-color joke.

So, if I want to make jokes about someone's kid, make sure it is about something silly and that they would, or better yet, have joked about themselves in a care-free manner. If I want to make a joke about giving kids, that's just not funny.

I did think of a way I could have made an appropriate joke in that situation: "Hey, while you're down there, want to mop the floors? They're looking a little dull."

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