Well, we are nearing the halfway point now, and I think I'm just about ready.
Oh, I know. "You can't ever be ready." That's what They say. Let's be honest, though: how often are They right about anything? Really? Everyone tells you that parenthood is a constant state of fretting, hypochondria, projecting an air of calm reassurance, and sleeplessness. If this is true, I have been training for parenthood for most of my adult life.
There is one area, though, in which I am completely deficient: if I am going to be a good role model and shape young minds, I am going to need to learn and practice some profanity substitutes in a big hurry. And the usual ones aren't going to cut it,either. "Shoot" and "darn" are not going to get it done. When someone cuts me off on the highway and I almost crash, I will never get to a place where I reflexively say "shoot."
Though she would deny it, my mom's approach to this problem was always to let the bad word slip out and then say, "That's a bad word; don't ever say that." This was obviously tremendously helpful. Dad had a full regiment of fake swears, but they're his and I don't want to sound like him. He's a big fan of "oh, nuts." I'm not from the forties, so that's not in the cards.
As I see it, I have two solid options.
1) Super-villain: "Curses! Blast you, you dratted fools! You nearly ran me off the benighted road!"
2) Full-on Yosemite Sam: "Razzle frazzin' razzafrazz, dagnabbit!"
I'm leaning towards 1). The child's vocabulary will turn out much better that way.
Any suggestions from existing parents who have already had to become more upstanding citizens would be greatly appreciated. I like "drat!" a lot; "rats!" is growing on me; I am a big fan of "clown" and its sister word, "bozo." Beyond that, I have nothin'.