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.


9 Responses to “The F Word, 2.0”

  1. M. Ascher said

    Must be the week for it. My 7 year old came down the hall the other day asking, “Mommy, what’s a condom?” Shocked me. I said this: “Mel, I’m not sure this is a conversation we’re ready to have yet but let me tell you this. It’s a sex thing, and it goes on a penis.” Her response: “ew! Get away, you freak”! And she ran off from whence she came.

  2. Cathy said

    Sally, I love your writing. It’s a great piece. I wish that Milan felt the need to whisper such things.

  3. brennagee said

    I do so love that spark in their eye when they know something new and adult. You handled it perfectly. We had “the talk” with Bryce when he was 10 and it seemed right but when we gave Josh the same talk at 10 it seemed premature. Josh really couldn’t care less. They are each so different. 😉

  4. I’m ashamed to say I just uttered my go to phrase this morning. GFD! My cat Akua unraveled a whole roll of paper towels. Sigh.

  5. Debbie Accomazzo - All About Girls! said

    Loved this follow up, Sally! Knowing several of your older siblings, I’ve got my own ideas of just who may have taught you the “real” F word!! (Love you, E.!!)

  6. Joanne toft said

    Way to go Sally! Sounds like you did a great job of balance. Yes but not to be used.

    I know you worry but you got this parenting think down. Relax and trust your self.

  7. I laughed my head off!! You are one first-rate writer! I still cherish some letters you wrote to me about how you loved my picking you up from kindergarten, and would take you to that chicken place for lunch, and then I’d take you to the Bookworm and let you buy a book – well, it was the Mr. books – Mr. Messy, Mr. Sorry, etc. They cost all of $1 a piece, as I recall. Oh, and I also recall, when you were about four or so, you would sing “Shake, shake, shake your booty” Well, at the time your five older siblings had a record of a song that had those ‘lovely’ lyrics. Nothing like having older siblings, and their records, for broadening ones ‘horizons’ should we say? Love from yo’ mama

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