I’m not a fan of profanity, but I am one of those people who rate it. In the hierarchy of cuss words, there are a few that are totally off-limits. We don’t say them, so naturally, our kids don’t know them.
The other day when I picked Kendra up from dance, she got in the car and told me rather dramatically, “Mom! So-and-so called So-and-so the f-word. That is really bad! And I don’t even know what the f-word is!”
“Yeah, that is really bad, Kendra. She should not have said that.”
“I know! It’s so bad!”
We continued our ride in silence for a few moments. And then came the question I hadn’t really considered how I would handle yet: “Mommy…what is the f-word?”
This was one of those moments for which you can never really be prepared. Do I tell my little seven-year-old what that awful word is? I felt like I was setting the tone for how our relationship will be as she grows up. Will she come to me with things? Or will she hide things from me and get her information elsewhere?
Of course I told her. But, I wanted to stress how bad the word really is, so I told her, “Kendra, that word is so bad that I’m not even going to say it. The only reason anyone ever says that word is to be as ugly as possible. There’s no excuse to ever say it. Okay?”
She nodded, very intent on what I was saying.
I took a deep breath. “Okay. It rhymes with ‘duck’ but it starts with ‘f’.”
I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a puzzled look on her face. When it didn’t go away, I realized my mistake. “Kendra, take the ‘d’ off first, and use an ‘f’ instead.” She got it that time.
I thought my cussing conversations would be over for a while. Little did I know, Lesson 2 was right around the corner.
I went to pick Kendra up from my mom’s house after work, and my mom was just itching to show me Kendra’s schoolwork from the day. She pulled out a picture of a hot-air balloon that was colored very nicely. I read what was written in the handwriting of a sweet second-grader.
“Going up in a hot air balloon would be amasing. Gosh, just like this work sh*t.”
Wow! Talk about a misspelling!
I showed the paper to Ronnie later that evening so we could have a good laugh. Kendra, rather indignantly, demanded to know what was so funny about her school assignment. Ronnie asked her to read it to us. Of course, she read the last word as “sheet,” which was what she intended to write.
I reviewed the correct spelling of “sheet” then we told her that what she actually wrote was a bad word. Thus, cussing Lesson 2!
We explained the only reason it was so funny is that we know she would never ever say that word.
How much profanity do we have left? I sincerely hope Lesson 3 isn’t in the near future!