A jarring experience
A jarring experience
Scott Dunlop
I’ve just had a short winter break with my kids. We didn’t go away, but it was still great to spend some time with them. One realisation I had is that I get into the habit of swearing when they aren’t around and then slipping up when they are.

They’re quite polite about it. They don’t swear at all (at least, not in front of me) so they just shake their heads in horrified unison. “DADDY!” they’ll reprimand me, appalled. 

Somewhat optimistically we looked for a solution. They hit on the idea of a Swear Jar for me. One rand for every Bad Word. We had trouble figuring out exactly what constituted a Bad Word, especially since they refuse to say them, but I got the general idea. With regrettable bravado I took them up on the challenge.

The jar filled faster than I could find change in my pockets to fill it. They’d drafted a contract which they’d sealed in the jar, and I couldn’t amend it. While making a cosy fire in the lounge I burned my hands a few times. This resulted in a couple of IOUs. I begged them to release me from the deal, but they just pondered the situation for a while.

“Hmm”, they mused, “Dad can’t afford this. What we need is someone who is a millionaire that swears a lot…” My eldest decided that Eminem would be ideal. All they’d have to do to secure their fortunes would be to make sure that they get to clear out Eminem’s swear jar.

We read up on what to do with the proceeds of a swear jar. One site suggested giving the cash to a charity. Another opposed this, saying that it would give the impression that swearing can result in “good works”. We decided that we’d spend it on something fun.

After a few days of rain and cabin fever, they started to niggle at each other. That’s when I thought of a great idea: The Name Calling Jar. For each rude or insulting name they called each other, they had to put money in the jar.

Predictably, it filled up quickly. This led to the suggestions for a Fart Jar and a Burp Jar, neither of which materialised.
It didn’t take long before we all realised that we were all broke. We called it quits and divided up the spoils of our jars equally.

I guess I’ll just do it the old-fashioned way- try hard not to use sailor-speak in the home. And they have realised that name-calling isn’t the kindest way of treating your siblings.

Now it’s back to school for the longest term- Hannah has already made a calendar counting down to the next holidays. I wonder how we’ll pass the time then...

What did you get up to in the holidays? Send your holiday fun stories to chatback@parent24.com and you could win a R250 kalahari.com voucher..

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