The F Word, 2.0

April 16, 2012

This time it’s the real one.

The other night I was enjoying dinner at the table with my three children.  When you are in such a lovely setting, but out numbered 3 to 1 by single digit aged children, it rarely lasts.

The kids got to talking about the “S word”, the “C word” and a few others I don’t remember.  Their understanding of these words, until this day, were wonderfully incorrect.  But then one of my 7-year-old daughters stated with great pride, that she knew the REAL F word.

“Really?” I asked her.  “Then what is it?”

She paused.  “I don’t want to say it out loud.”

And this is when I knew.

She eventually whispered it into my ear.  And I gotta tell you, having my mischievous, but sweet 7-year-old baby girl whisper “fuck” into my ear was a surreal experience.

I didn’t stop her from whispering it into the ears of the other two kids.  Everybody said it once.  And despite how much I have dreaded this moment, it simply did not occur to me the obvious follow up question.

“Mom, what does it mean?”

I am still not sure if I nailed it or choked here.  A part of me would rather have answered honestly and briefly what it did mean.  But that would involve another conversation we have not had yet.  So I told them that it was considered one of the worst of curse words and that I wasn’t sure yet how to explain it appropriately for their age level.  An honest, though not very informative answer.  I also told them that many people found it offensive and that saying it might upset others and would likely get them into trouble.

This might be my most hypocritical moment as a parent.  As many of you who know me have witnessed, it is my all-time favorite expletive.  By virtue of having many siblings several years my senior, it was a staple of my vocabulary when I was my kids’ ages. The best part of this whole event for me was when she confirmed that she learned it from a classmate.  Not me.  Whew!

While I hope very much that they wait a few years before it becomes a staple of their vocabularies, I did enjoy one part of all this that maybe is not cool for a parent to celebrate.  The look on a child’s face she has learned something new, is in the know on a special fact, is priceless.  Now if only I can point her toward more constructive discoveries.