During our car ride to yet another baseball game (Monkey Man has been to 3 minor league games and one Yankees game in 16 days) Monkey Man asked me this from the confines of his soon-to-be outgrown booster seat:
“Mommy, is fuck a bad word?”
The angels of Route 80 must been all around me because surprisingly, I did careen off the side of the road. Normally, the "F" word doesn’t really cause a reaction. Yes, it’s annoying to hear teenagers saying it trying to be cool, and sure, I might know someone who blurts it out when she drops something or bangs her toe into the corner of my, um, er, HER wall, but when it comes out of MY 7 YEAR-OLD child’s mouth, it’s a bit alarming.
So I launched my attack. “YES! IT’S THE WORST BAD WORD THERE IS!” I did not divulge that the even worse bad word is the gross, ugly C U Next Tuesday word. For now, he just needs to know the basic facts on bad words, not disgusting terms for lady parts.
Then I calmed down and asked him where he heard it, silently praying that it wasn’t when I dropped that huge pasta bowl a few weeks ago and it shattered into so many pieces that I am still stepping on shards of glass weeks later. And maybe continuing to slip out an “Ooooohhhhh Fuuuudddge” ( a la “A Christmas Story) each time.
Monkey Man responded, “Maybe camp?” “Or maybe (INSERT FRIEND’S NAME HERE) told me it was a bad word?” He clearly was either very confused and startled by my reaction or was not ratting out his friend.
He also asked me what the word means. I simply told him it’s just a mean and yucky word that people use when they aren’t educated enough to use real words. Yep, mommy is an uneducated fool who throws around mean and yucky words. Only occasionally, though, like when that wall gets in the way of my friggin’ foot or some a-hole driver cuts me off. That’s it. Really.
It made me sad, though, to have to explain this word to him. As much as his own mother has let one slip, he has never said a bad word. He has walked past teenagers in the mall saying them, even had some older kids at baseball camp saying a certain choice word that is a synonym for the more juvenile word poop (I was there to witness it), but he has never repeated a word or asked about the words until now. I almost want him to start running around the house saying, “Poopy Head” just to bring us back to a more simpler time. He is 7, going into 2nd grade and I feel my baby slipping away. And I’m not f’in happy about it.