I have to admit, I am always a little nervous around other people's kids because I am not ways certain how to behave around them.
I mean, I don't know if you have noticed, but I'm not always exactly "well behaved". Refined? Yes. Socially appropriate? Eh.
Its kind of my charm. I look all buttoned up and well behaved, yet I am kind of famous for my incredibly funny (to me), naughty sense of humor. I always enjoy myself, and usually people around me seem to have fun as well.
But it means that I am not always as on guard as I probably should be.
Why else do you think my 2-year-old uses the phrase "Oh shit" with great aplomb, perfect elocution, and in the correct context?
Am I proud of it? No. Does it leave me wringing my hands and lamenting in despair? Not really. There are way worse things in the world. Like she could join Fred Phelps' church.
*As an aside, I have caught every family member except Bennett using that phrase this week, so I feel its important to note that I am not ENTIRELY to blame*
But back to my point. Yesterday I participated in a clean up day at my daughter's preschool. Or actually, J cleaned up. I'm on crutches, so I sat on a bench and wiped down lots of phallic shaped toys with a cloth. Dead serious.
I was joking with a group of friends about Bennett's parentage being dubious (because he has blonde hair and blue eyes, but both John and I are brunettes with brown eyes), and we all laughed hard, but as I looked out at the yard of wholesome people, it occurred to me that my sense of humor may be a bit more "sophisticated" than some of my compatriots might have appreciate at a preschool event.
They didn't hear the jokes, and I doubt that their kids would have even understood them anyway, but still...
Which made me uncomfortable. And self conscious. Because its one thing to be a bad influence to your own kids. Quite another to corrupt someone else's.
And I realized that I might well have become a bad influence...