Inflection

In-flec-tion :  change in pitch or loudness of the voice – a : the change of form that words undergo to mark such distinctions as those of case, gender, number, tense, person, mood, or voice.

Fuck: Slang. (used to express anger, disgust, peremptory rejection, etc., often followed by a pronoun, as you or it. )
Origin: 1495–1505; akin to Middle Dutch fokken.
Related forms : fuck·y, adjective

Sometimes as I write a post, I wonder what people are going to think. After all, my in-laws read this stuff, cousins, aunts and uncles tune in for the latest episode. Friends new and old, people who go to church on a weekly basis, people who have advanced degrees, people who remove children from the homes of unfit parents….gasp. Sometimes even I momentarily wonder what people think of me, as a parent. This is one of those posts.

By 1:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon this precious angel had dropped the f-bomb precisely seven times that I am aware of. That’s right – this is a first hand account of the f-bombs that I actually heard leave the lips of my tiny toddler. When she’s out of ear-shot, I have no idea what she’s saying, thus proceed with the (mistaken) assumption that she probably isn’t saying that word.

I began the day with the admittedly unrealistic hope that the word had lost its appeal during her peaceful slumber. I lay in bed nursing my cold’s second horrible day of existence, while desperately attempting to psych myself up for my gig as Parent Helper. You’ll be fine, I told myself. How bad can three hours be? So what if Kate has to come along? She’ll play and she’ll be perfectly…
“Ah, fuck…I stuck,” she blandly remarked from the behind the gate on her bedroom door. “Daddy? I stuck!”
pause
The sweet whispering voice of my two year old traveled down the hallway. “Fuuuuuck,” she whispered to no one in particular, she was just making an exasperated statement to get her day rolling. I sighed and began to pray that she wouldn’t let it rip in front of the preschool set.
After I dragged my ailing body from my bed and showered, I caught Kate so I might brush her hair into some semblance of respectability. I popped her on top of my bathroom counter, ran the brush through her fine waves and promptly encountered a sticky tangle of mystery goop. Her hand rose to the area of the knot and she furrowed her tiny eyebrows, “OUCH, FUCK MAMA!” Her eyes challenged me to just go ahead and try that again and her language told me that she meant business. Ignoring the mini Clint Eastwood glaring at me in the mirror, I said, “No, no, Kate! Bad word!”

A few minutes later, we were in her bedroom getting her dressed for the day. As I changed her diaper I teased, “Pew! You’re stinky Katie!” She laughed out a hearty, “Ah fuck, I stinky!” I tapped my index finger on her lips and said, “No! Bad word.” She began crying. Clearly, I thought, I need to find a different tactic.

Finally, the girls and I were backing out of the garage when I smacked the passenger side mirror on the way out. (Yes, that’s the third time since January, so sue me.) Of course the loud banging sound was a bit startling and when I got out to fix the mirror, I found it’s guts hanging out. I re-entered the car to Kate’s questioning, “Fuck, Mama?” I mentally thought, yes that’s a big fuck Kate but, taking the advice of some old friends on Facebook, I ignored the word. Perhaps a lack of reaction would help it lose it’s appeal.

The thing is, she’s using it appropriately in every instance. Her inflection is always appropriate. She’s using the F-bomb in a conversational manner and not for shock value. How the fuck do I stop that? I pondered this deeply disturbing revelation as I drove in to town and was lost in thought as we parked and walked into the school. At the threshold of the door Kate froze and shrieked with terror, “FUCK! BUG!” I ignored it and resolved to tell anyone who overheard the following script that I had rehearsed in my head.

No, no…she’s saying ‘frog’…it just sounds like fuck. I know isn’t that silly? We’re working on the pronunciation because it’s really embarrassing. ah ha ha ha!!

I avoided Kate at preschool.

Later, when we’d finally returned to the confines of our house and she started to drop F-bombs again,  I began paying close attention to the myriad ways in which Kate used the word to convey her emotion.

Perhaps my favorite to date happened as she was running through the house then slipped and fell off the step leading into the kitchen. She couldn’t see me stifle a smile as she growled an exasperated, “fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck”  as she lay prone on the floor. Despite myself, that one made me happy.

The final f-bomb that I heard yesterday happened when she fumbled her ba-ba. It hit the floor at her feet and, well…you know what she said. From my sick bed, I heard David’s lame attempts to stop her and slowly drifted off to sleep.

I’ve begun various methods to dissuade her use of that word. I don’t laugh. I’ve sternly said NO! I’ve tapped her lips and said, NO! I’ve said, “do not say FUCK!” I’ve threatened soap – but I think she’s a bit young for that punishment…but then again, she’s also a bit young to have grasped the (im)proper usage of the word “fuck”. I’ll admit that in this area, I have failed as a mother. No need to state the obvious…I haven’t said it in front of her for at least a week.

Comments

  1. My son gave me the finger the other day. Nice. I raise great kids…

  2. Oh yeah, and Caitlin burps… constantly. She discovered the magic formula and now burps on command. She's gonna have soooo many boyfriends.

  3. Slidecutter says:

    My late mother gave the finger to everyone, including me. My three kids quickly imitated the bad habit of their grandmother until I convinced them that they were using the wrong digit, teaching them to give the pinky finger instead, calling it "The Q Curse".

    They gave it at every opportunity.

  4. Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy says:

    My nephew seems to have picked up the proper usage of the word "shit." He's really quite good at it…a lot like Kate. Don't feel too bad. People always gag at a gnat and swallow a camel if you ask me…and cursing is a gnat in my humble opinion. Sure, there'll be uptight bitches who gasp in horror when they hear Kate say "fuck," but I guarantee you those uptight bitches are sleeping around on their husbands and ignoring the fact that their own children are jerks.

  5. ArtsyNina says:

    FUCK! hehehe My two year old hasn't said that yet, but his 'clock' sounds like cock. So when we're at Target and he see's rows and rows of time-tellers…..he starts yelling COCK! Coooooock!

    Awkward.

  6. When she gets older this will give you all something to laugh about. How Ms. Katie could use the word properly at such a young age.

  7. Natalie says:

    I can only imagine that my future child will go through a very (exactly) similar phase. Fuck is my favorite word evar. Thank you for making me feel not so ashamed and also for leading the way here so I'll know how to handle it when it's my turn. 🙂

  8. Oh I DREAD this happening to me. I have no advice for you–sounds like you're doing everything right. The way you wrote it was hilarious, though–I love the inflection part. Perfect.

  9. Tales of a Hockey Wife says:

    It is just a word…..and at her age it is kind of funny! My son can pick out a Lady Gaga song in the first two notes..and my daughter knows the words to Rihanna's s&m……….what can you do, but drink an extra glass of wine and find the humor in it!

  10. Lucy The Valiant says:

    Oh, I live in terror of this happening to me!! It cracks me up when it's someone else's child, though!

  11. Selena says:

    Lila learned to call people douchebags thinks to my road rage ranting. She also tells my father to "get his ass out of the bathroom" thanks to my mothers constantly harassing the poor guy whenever he spends more than the allowed time in there.

    They all go through it. In public, just act shocked, like its the first time she ever did it and say something like "We need to find a new babysitter…"

  12. Midnight Oil Momma says:

    So my husband thought it would be funny to teach our son the word bunghole yesterday. My hubby told him the actual definition (the hole on the lid of a barrel), but we were all cracking up. Then my son, at 4 mind you said, "like a poo hole?" Here we go.

  13. LesleyRH says:

    I sometimes wonder the same thing when I write my blog…what people think of me. But then, I pull a Kate and just say fuck it!

  14. Wow, Kate talks a lot like me! Yikes! (There's a reason I was never much of a babysitter.) I've also heard that ignoring it is the best way for them to stop using the word, but I can't imagine how hard it would be *not* to react to it when she says it. I mean, what the FUCK?!

  15. frazzledfoodie says:

    Today I said "shite!" in front of my 4yo (a rare slip) and he responded with "shit, Mama!" I totally deserved that one.

  16. Dwija {House Unseen} says:

    So maybe this won't seem as bad, but my 3 year went through a phase where everything was "poop" and "what about poop" but not in the "appropriate" manner but in a ridiculous embarrassing manner. E.G…

    Our pastor: Hi Paul, how are you?
    Paul: What about poop?
    Pastor: Um…what was that?
    Paul: Poop! I said poop! Hahaha! Mama's a poop! What about poop?
    Pastor: Oh…I see…?

    Facepalm.

  17. quasiagitato.com says:

    Classic. Has she been watching The Wire? All I could think of is that scene with Bunk and (ah! I just lost his name. You know, the irish cop.) Fuck is the only word in the entire scene. Hilarious.

  18. Hahahahahahaha I just layed in bed with my Fiance and read this post out loud. We are both doubled over in belly pains laughing at this =)

Speak Your Mind

*