Watch What You Say

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The other day my daughter Sage said a bad word, and because of it, Dad got sent to “Frowny Chair.” How was I to know she was listening when that other driver cut me off during rush hour. I thought I muttered under my breath; apparently not.

My daughter heard a word I’m not thrilled about. I tried to tell Sage that it is really not a bad word. Beavers build “it” to provide easy access to food and water during winter. Sage wasn’t buying my explanation. Neither was my wife, Charisse. So Dad was sent to “Frowny Chair.”

The “Frowny Chair” is sort of like a timeout chair, used when someone is acting up. That someone is supposed to be Sage or Brayden. It is not supposed to be used by the guy who has interviewed Super Bowl champions, hoop stars and NASCAR legends, or for that matter by the guy who bought the &@!#% chair in the first place. (Oops, just bought myself another visit … shhhh-ugar.)

I do not cuss very often, although occasionally a naughty word slips out … like during rush hour madness. However, I’m learning that when you have kids, “not very often” is much too often.

It is hard watching every single word, but it’s even harder when a word that was accidentally used is uttered again by someone whose age is in single digits. I often wonder if I am the only parent with this problem. I hope not. Still, I keep reminding myself to be careful.

It is amazing how my children (and I’m betting your kids as well) hear and comment on everything. Sage has asked me about my words, my sneezes, even my occasional gaseous emissions after drinking some diet soda. The other day, she woke up in the morning, and the first thing she said was, “Daddy said a bad word.” I looked at my wife confused. Charisse said that Sage probably dreamed that I cursed. Great! Now I’m swearing in my little girl’s dreams. Her dreams are turning into my nightmare.

Brayden is only 1, so the very few words he speaks consist of one or two syllables. I remember when Sage was like that. When she started talking up a storm, it brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. Now Sage is repeating everything and asking questions about many things. She probably has a future as a reporter. Maybe I should bring her with me to the NASCAR and golf interviews I am doing this month. She would be the cutest reporter out there and definitely the smartest Snyder, as long as her questions to the athletes remain G-rated – advice I’m sure that Sage, Charisse and Brayden have for the old man, whether in the locker-room or in my home.

Bruce Snyder is the sports director at Fox Charlotte. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, Charisse; daughter, Sage; and son, Brayden.