Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Swear Jar

I first came up with the swear jar during the Patriots playoff game.  I was upstairs with Daniel when we heard the following come from my very own husband:

"Suck it Tom Brady!  SUCK IT!"

Daniel looked at me.  Then he snickered.  I knew we had a problem.

Today, Kiah kept stealing Ben's lightsaber because she's a compulsive thief who shows no sign of reform even though we've had several serious talks.  Ben became irate and called her a stupid idiot.  I wish I could blame the public school for Ben's potty mouth, but let's all be honest with each other;  John calls Kiah a stupid idiot on a regular basis (albeit affectionately.)  In fact, that was the excuse Benjamin used when I chastised him. 

So this very night, I invented the game "Gotcha," the rules of which are quite simple.  Daddy says a bad word, we yell "Gotcha," and Daddy has to put $1.00 in the swear jar.  The swear jar will be a Wegmans Basil Tomato spaghetti sauce jar, washed, with a pretty swirly-lettered label that says "A vessel is known by the sound, whether it be cracked or not, so men are proved by their speeches whether they be wise or not. - Demosthenes ."  When we collect enough dollars, we'll have a pizza night.  I fully expect pizza night will happen tomorrow, as we've already garnered $3.00. 

We had to make a list, of course, of the offending words.  They are as follows:


Ben lobbied hard to put "poopstick" on the list, and although it's a word not used in decent conversation, we decided though vulgar, it didn't constitute a "naughty" word.

Caleb is somewhat to very uncomfortable with this game- in fact, after consideration, he has decided he doesn't want to play it at all.  Caleb always defers and is respectful to those who are in authority over him, and so this game goes against everything he believes in.  John even gave him the go-ahead to play, but our encouragement was to no avail.  Not even the promise of pizza night would sway poor Caleb's mind.  He did say the following:

"Anyway, I know that even though mom made up this game, she'll forget about it in a few days." 

He's eight, but he already knows I have a problem following through with things.  Like my scrapbooking projects.  My marathon training.  Grad school.  Flossing on a nightly basis.  Things like that.

So, I'm cleaning out another spaghetti sauce jar, which will be labeled:  "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours-  Henry David Thoreau."  Only I'll change the hes to shes.  For obvious reasons. 

Every time I don't follow through with something, the kids will yell, "I TOLD YOU SO!" and I'll put $1.00 in the jar.  When we save up enough dollars, we'll order out for subs.  (I find food is a wonderful motivator.)

I would admit that we're going to be eating a lot of pizza and subs, but let's face facts.  This is definitely the year we slap a G-rating on John's mouth.  And I'm going to follow through with my grand ideas.  Or at least my not-so-grand ideas.

We may be eating a lot of subs. 


Toaster said...

You'd better not come to MY house during a football game! :o

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ on your evaluation of your follow through issues. I think you're doing a great job of "following through" on raising your kids. And I love your blog!

Jessica said...

Sounds like a good way to pay for food :) LOL love the Office ending - great show LOL

Ben said...

You said "freaking" in your previous post. What happens when you (not John) publish a "naughty" word? And is this policy retroactive to earlier blog posts? Ha ha.

Holly said...

My kids don't read my freaking blog.

Thank God.

(I will not tell the story of all of the swears I said in front of the kids when I thought we'd left in the driveway halfway to church. He was actually in the back, hiding. W're talking REAL swears. AND IT WAS ON A SUNDAY! I probably owe at least $5 to the Swear Jar.)

@Anonymous- Thanks, that's very kind.

Ann Mitchell Jazz said...

We had a 'swear' jar growing up. The offensive word cost a nickel. I nearly escaped from losing any allowance to that jar - for I did not swear. I was a 'goody two shoes' and my potty mouth consisted of 'shut up' -- often. THAT was added to the list. In my parents defense, there were six kids and everyone had to learn the lesson! We did not benefit from the money collected...still don't know where it went. I am sure that Mom and Dad applied it to the grocery bill!