The F Word


My husband and I try to watch our language in front of our kids; they are only 3 and 5 after all.  Occasionally, a slip of the tongue will occur, and we help catch each other by either a swift kick under the table, a raised eyebrow, or with a stage whisper of, “language!”  There are the instances where we allow our kids to say some borderline words, such as “Shut Up,” as long as it is in the context of “Shut up and dance with me!”

Then, last weekend we were over at a friends house.  They live in a quintessential cul-de-sac, with kids roaming around, in and out of houses.  We had just arrived, so I went and threw the wine I brought in the fridge.  When I came out, there was a curious 4 year old I’d never seen before playing with some magna tiles with my 5 year old and my friend’s 6 year old.  And I overhear this conversation:

5yo: That’s a potty word

My daughter is a good girl, and sometimes likes to throw the yellow flag a bit quick, so I let the conversation go on…

4yo: But it’s not a really bad word, like the “F” word.  

Ohhhh, “mom alarm” started going off in my head, but I kinda wanted to see how this would go.  

6yo: Yeah, yeah, I know, the F word is really bad.

4yo: Do you know the F word?

6yo: Yeah I do.

5yo: Me too.

Wait, my little girl knows the F word?! Now before I could say anything…

6yo: Farts.  The F word is Farts and it’s a bad word.  

I had to catch my breath. I wanted to laugh out loud so hard.  She said farts so solemnly, it was hilarious.  I was pretty happy I had chosen to stay quiet and let them chat.  And as soon as I let my guard down…

4yo: NO!  That’s not the F word I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the really, really bad F word.  

5yo: I know what it is.

Hang on a second.  Maybe my little girl does know the F word. Had she been listening to the “unclean” versions of songs on my Pandora?  

5yo: (barely a whisper) Fat.  

6yo: OH YEAH!  That’s a really, really bad word. You can never ever call someone fat.  

5yo: I know!  That could really hurt their feelings.  

So here I am, thinking I’m in the clear when that little booger speaks up again

4yo: (quite exacerbated by now) No, no the F word is…

Me: HEY HEY HEY, who wants snacks?

All the kids: Me!  

Then, we went inside and had some cheese.  I know someone is going to be the one to teach her the F word and all the other words, but not today.  Not today!  


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