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.

Foul-Mouths and Tantrums

“GWEN, STOP BEING A PAIN IN THE A.S.S.!”

These are the words that traveled to my ears while I stood upstairs in the laundry room conquering an Everest-sized mountain of laundry this afternoon.

I’ve stopped admonishing Joe for his use of ‘A.S.S.’ simply because 95% of the time, Gwen truly is being a complete pain in the A.S.S. and, as Joe pointed out not so long ago – technically speaking, if you spell a bad word you aren’t swearing at all. I’m quite sure that the school or other parents might have an entirely different opinion about his technicality, so let’s hope that he limits his spelling of cuss words to the confines of the family abode.

On the other hand, Kate has finally entered that stage where her babbles are somewhat decipherable. Mostly, I love to hear her sweet little voice as she finds her words. Her big blue eyes positively sparkle when she gets a word right and we acknowledge that we understand what she has said. Her new-found speech is simply precious…except, of course, for her pronunciation of ‘walk’.

Yesterday afternoon the girls and I hit the Maine Mall to pick up my new laptop and check out what’s what at Pottery Barn. Unfortunately, Kate has had it with her stroller. The squirmy battle that ensues when she spots her hot pink MacClaren is simply astounding. (For the record, who wouldn’t want to ride around in a hot pink stroller? I’d happily park myself in that hot pink ride and let someone push me around for a few hours…but I don’t fit…and it would look really weird.)

Anyway… yesterday I tried to peel Kate from my hip and tether her into her hot pink prison when she began screaming, “Fuck, FUCK, FUUUCK!” in the middle of the mall. I mean it – she was scuh-reaming. As those filthy words spewed forth from my tiny toddler’s sweet little mouth and echoed into the quiet of the just-opened mall, she repeatedly pointed to the floor.

While I desperately tried avoid causing more of scene, the sales associates in Pottery Barn stood behind a giant bird cage filled with fake hydrangeas and giggled. I thought, go right ahead and laugh you a.s.s.holes, because I’m about to stroll this pint-sized swearing beast into your store. Kate arranged herself into a stiffened, plank position to avoid being locked down and screamed, “I FUCK!” I looked at Gwen who stood wide-eyed and horrified and couldn’t help myself. I began laughing.

Finally, Kate relented and allowed me to click the straps into place. She was reduced to pathetic, sobbing breaths and I was coated with a slight sheen of sweat from our skirmish. I walked into Pottery Barn wearing a triumphant smile and those sales associates ran like the wind to busy themselves with some pillow plumping.

This morning, I dropped Gwen and Joe off at school and drove home with my foul-mouthed little angel. As I pulled her from her carseat, she pointed to the garage floor and sweetly said, “I Falk, Mamma?” Oh, she was trying to say, ‘I walk’? Well, why didn’t she just falking say so?

You know what makes me feel happy? When I see that you visited and clicked on the “Vote For Me” button!