Swearing, cussing, cursing, using profanities…
Some say it’s a form of expression. Some say it’s great for social bonding. Some say it’s a democratic right. Some even say it offers stress and analgesic relief!
Most people would agree that it’s considered foul language and that it’s socially unacceptable to swear in front of children. I’ve spent a good number of years retraining myself to say “fudge” instead of “f#@k” and “sugar” instead of “sh*t” so that my kids can keep their virginal ears intact.
I’m not naive. I knew that one day Mandy would learn it from friends or from the schoolyard. I just wasn’t prepared for it to happen so soon.
“Mummy, I know the F word. Teagan told me today,” says Mandy excitedly, like she’s just unwrapped an LOL Surprise. I hate those things.
Astonished with Mandy’s revelation, I spin around to face her, “What F word?” I’m in total denial mode.
“The F word,” Mandy exclaims, using her fingers to air quote.
“Oh the F word,” I say, pretending to understand her meaning. “Yeah fudge is a pretty cool word.”
I turn back to the kitchen counter and absentmindedly prepare dinner. I silently pray for this discussion to end.
“That’s not the F word,” Mandy says with indignation. “Teagan has a sister in grade five, and she told her.”
Mandy pulls me down and whispers conspiratorially, “It’s friggin hell.”
She looks at me for confirmation. I release a huge sigh of relief, “Yes darling, that’s the F word.”
I give her my most serious looking expression. “You are a big girl now Mandy and you will hear bad words that adults sometimes use but it’s important that you don’t use them.”
“Why can adults use bad words but kids can’t?” asks Mandy.
My mind searches for the most appropriate answer but my mouth just blurts out, “Because you’ll get in trouble if the teachers hear you say them.”
Ah sh*t, did I just say that? That’s the best I could come up with? Too late now, I just have to run with it.
I momentarily hold my breath, waiting for a barrage of questions.
Mandy gives me a suspicious look but reluctantly agrees and saunters off.
Phew! Thank ‘fudge’ for small reprieves.
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