We don’t swear in front of our kids. Never have. That’s not to say I don’t meet my neighbor at the fence now and again so I can hear his latest off-color joke and make my own contributions to the air that’s turned several shades of blue. That’s also not to say that they may not have heard us utter something when we thought they couldn’t hear us from the other end of the house. For years we never even said “crap” in our house. We do say it now and then, but we encourage our kids not to say it. We also used to say “toot” instead of fart. We now openly use the word fart. Cuz’ they’re old enough to know that farts are funny. I think it’s a fact in a book somewhere.
So, yesterday I was clickity clacking away on my computer when the girly whirred into the room to ask me an urgent question:
Girly: Is Fuck a bad word?
Wombat: Um… [stunned silence]
Wombat: Uh, where did you hear that word?
Girly: I was reading out loud and said “Buck” and Mister Man asked me if I just said the f-word. And Buck rhymes with fuck, so now I know what the f-word is.
Wombat: I see. [more stunned silence mixed with thoughts of grounding her big brother for a year for helping her to learn how to f-bomb]
Wombat: Actually, yes. That’s a very bad word, and you should never say it.
Girly: Okay. [skips off as if I've just shared with her her some perfectly mundane scientific fact]
* * * *
A short while later, I stepped into the other room while the kids were still eating dinner in the kitchen. Thankfully, I took my supersonic, multitasking mom ears with me. The Girly was once again reading aloud from a book, but this time, she was changing all the words to make it silly.
Normal second grader stuff.
Then I heard her say something about French kissing and the character in the book putting his tongue in someone else’s mouth.
Totally NOT normal second grader stuff.
Do second graders know this stuff now? Oh jeez. I know my son learned some bad words on the bus and in the cafeteria in first and second grade, but really? I really don’t think I learned any of that until I was 21.
Okay, maybe a little sooner, but OMG. Second grade.
hauled my cake back in there at a sprinter’s space casually strolled back into the room and inquired about her recent discussion. She chattered on about everything but the French part. I then pointedly asked what she was saying about something “French.” After they both stopped giggling, she explained that a classmate had told her something about a country and some kissing. She thinks it might have been France or French and it involved tongues and someone else’s mouth. [This is the part where I was silently judging the classmate and all of her extended white trash family for allowing her to A. Know such information and B. Pass it along to unsuspecting peers]
OH EM GEE.
Isn’t that something you’re supposed to learn at the 7th grade dance in the bleachers when Eddie Reed unhinges his mouth and kisses you like a boa that’s about to swallow you whole? I think that’s how it’s supposed to work, right? Not in SECOND GRADE!
This parental shock came on the heels of my conversation with Mister Man last weekend about how he knows EVERY bad word there is. Thank goodness he left out a few major players, including one that might have to do with the second day of the work week.
Now I’m just chewing my nails waiting for one of them to accidentally let go with an f-bomb like in the movie A Christmas Story:
Let’s hope if it happens, it will be within the confines of our own home.
Am I alone on this island of “Where has the innocence gone?” Can I get an Amen up in here?