Lady J, timidly: Mom? What does fuck mean?
Bud: Heh, heh. Fuck.
Me, more than a bit dumbstruck: Where did you hear that word?
J: Stewart* asked me if I know what the “F” word is and I told him, “No.” Then Mathew* spelled it: f-u-c-k. I told them I didn’t know that word, but I could sound it out. Mom? What does fuck mean?
Inner-momologue: Oh Fuck! Crappity crap crap fuck this shit and the asshole who mentioned it to a second grader and now my kids know it, even though I’ve probably fucked up a few times in front of them too, FUCK!
Me: Well, first of all you should both know that it is a word that is rude, disrespectful, and will get you sent to Mr. Wollensky’s* office immediately, should you say it at school. In school, it’s worse than “stupid” or even “hate”. It will also get you sent to your room at home.
J: I know that, but what does it mean?
Me: Well, most adults use it when something goes wrong, like “Oh no!” or, “Oh dear!”
J: Why wouldn’t they just say, “Oh no” or, “Oh dear” then? Or even, “Oh my goodness?”
Me: Sometimes, in the adult world, things go so wrong that a stronger word comes to mind first. It’s not polite, but it happens.
Bud: Fuck! I can’t buckle my seatbelt! Heh, heh, heh.
Me: Bud, you may not use that word. Not even to repeat it. Next time, it’s a timeout. No warnings.
Bud: Poop. Well, I guess that’s ok.
J: But, Mom, if it just means, “Oh no,” then why is it a bad word. What does it really mean?
Inner momologue: Fuuuuuuuuuck!
Me: I honestly need to discuss this with Daddy before telling you the real definition of the word.
J: Why do you need to talk to Daddy about what a word means?
Me: You asked a great question and I want to answer it honestly, yet appropriately. It’s a word that has some pretty grownup meanings and I want to make sure Daddy and I are both present for this conversation…
… The conversation we had at dinner included explaining that the word “fuck” was a derogatory word that often referred to disrespectful references towards outer appearances and inappropriate behavior. In their language we used terms such as “bucket dipping” and “bullying” and made sure that they knew it was a word that is never acceptable to use towards another person nor to be accepted in a humorous manner when directed at another person. We let them know that anyone who refers to them using that word is not a friend and that they may stand up for up for themselves, while they also have an obligation to stand up for others if that word is used against them and to report it to us, a teacher, or another trusted adult….I hope it fucking worked….
#innocencelost #herewegrow #convoswithkids #thefword #sothathappened
*all names have been changed