Euphemism Espionage

500px-Spy_silhouette.svgBeing a parent seems like an ever-changing game of Parental Euphemisms.  When you first become a parent, you can pretty much say whatever you want in front of your baby.  Your one week old can’t even babble.  They definitely won’t repeat that swear word that you let slip.

As your kid gets older, though, the possibility of repeating increases.  In fact, when they get to be toddlers, kids can be quite the parrots.  At this stage, parents will often resort to spelling words or phrases that they don’t want their kids to hear.  This could be anything from adult level topics ("Did you hear about the m-u-r-d-e-r in the news today?") to things you want to discuss without letting the kids in on the meaning of the conversation ("Should we go out for i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m later?").  This works well for some time, but eventually children learn to spell.  Even worse, if you have an older child, they will often blab the secret to the younger kid who still can’t spell.

You have now entered the age of euphemisms.  Yes, you can try to wait until the kids aren’t within earshot, but you can’t live your life Rated G with brief moments of verbal freedom.  The key is to find code words to mean certain things.  They should be cryptic enough that the kids won’t catch on quickly.  (Don’t refer to Ice Cream as "I.C.")  Definitely don’t refer to the item by it’s code word *to* the kids.  ("Hey Tommy, would you like some I.C.?")  And try not to generate too much attention to your use of code words.  (No winking, nudging, and overly stressing the code words.)

Kids are smart and they will eventually realize something is up, but you want to get as much mileage as you can with your code words before you need to change them.  It’s like a day-to-day game of parental espionage.  ("My name is Dad.  Techy Dad.  Agent Double Oh No The Kid Woke Up Again.")  If you are careful, you too can slyly sneak some grown up level banter right past your kids.

What parental espionage tactics have you employed?

NOTE: The "Spy Silhouette" image above is by Setreset and is available via Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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