Bad Words

The piñata store on the way to Violet’s school is always a hot topic on the morning drive. Each day there is a new selection hung outside on a wire – ponies, mermaids, superheroes, soccer balls, cartoon icons – lots of options for anyone throwing a kid’s party.

We’ve been commenting on these piñatas for months now, always listing what’s currently on display, and imagining what other plaster icons might be available inside. Lately there have been an awful lot of bird’s heads, which are basically just balls with beaks. Compared to the others, they’re boring and unimpressive.

For the record, Violet would like a Sleeping Beauty piñata for her birthday party in September. It’s going to be an exciting day when we go to pick it up, since we’ve never actually been in the store. Or so I thought…

“Daddy had a talk with the piñata store people yesterday,” Violet informed me this morning from her car seat.

“He did? He actually went in there?”


“Really? What did he say to them?” I couldn’t believe I didn’t get a text about this.

“He said, ‘Why are there so many fuckin’ bird’s heads all the time?'” Ah ha. So he didn’t actually go in then.

“Okay, umm…you know we don’t use that word though, right?”

“You mean fuckin’?” Her pronunciation is fantastic.

“That’s the one. It’s a bad word.”

“Like stupid and dummy.”

“Yes, stupid and dummy are bad words too, but it’s a little bit different.”

“And idiot. Stupid and dummy and idiot and fuck are all bad words.”

“But fuck is a word that makes some people very uncomfortable, much more so than those other words. It’s hard to explain why that is. Really it’s kind of silly, because it’s just a word, but you have to understand that it’s different from other words, and it offends people.”

“Daddy says it all the time!”

“Yes, you’re right.”

“And you say it too, Mom. A lot.”

“Yes, well maybe Daddy and I shouldn’t say it so much, since it is a bad word. And you shouldn’t say in front of  your teachers, okay? Or actually anywhere in public. Little girls aren’t supposed to say fuck.” What a ridiculous thing to come out of my mouth.

“Well maybe when you get older you won’t say it. How old are you when your birthday is here?”

“I’m going to be forty-two.”

“Right. Forty-two. So when you’re forty-two, you will stop saying fuck.”

“You think so?”

“Yes, because you’ll be a big girl.”

Yet likely not any more mature. I doubt there’s much hope for me for a full ban on this most interesting, versatile, satisfying word.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. It’s great fucking word.



  1. Joel Wasson August 3, 2012 at 1:17 am

    yes- the Fuck word and children. My explaination is that it doesn’t make you sound smart. Fuck this, fuck that. Parent’s use it when frustrated because we are at an age when we know when and how to use it. Finally, they brought up its use in popular music. Well, we don’t censor so if it’s in a song, it’s okay.

    So there you go they didn’t swear unless they we also trying to get a rise out of us. But if a song came on with swearing they would sing along in full voice knowing that the swearing was tolerated.

    Two humerous sidenotes in this compromise with swearing:

    Our second boy Caden- the one who likes to push the limits the most- entered into a music store and immediately went over to the mircrophone on the stand and began to imporovise the following song-

    You can’t say fuck when you’re five, you can’t say shit when you’re six
    motherfucker, mother fucker, mother fucker….

    By this time I had leaped to remove him from the microphone- Caden!

    But dad, it part of the performance!

    Yeah- but you know you’re just pushing it. (though I did my best not to burst out laughing while trying to project my sternest father face). Good song though, mind if I use it? (don’t want to stiffle the creatively) What can I expect from the boy who picked supersuckers- “pretty fucked up” as his musical chair song on his 4th birthday.

    Having said all that- after the shock value when they saw it didn’t get much of a reaction, they don’t swear that often. As we tell them- it doesn’t make you sound that smart if you swear all the time.

    Besides the word is no more offensive sounding than puck or stuck- it just a sound- it’s the meaning we attatch that makes it bad. Now don’t get me started on cunt (bunt/shunt/runt).

    Love Joel

  2. Valerie August 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Of course, Paula, our Dad used to say fuck all the time and we turned out OK! But on that note, I have a vivid memory of saying fuck in front of Grandma (I think I was around 6) and seeing her face just turn white. That made me understand the power of the word and I didn’t say it around anyone but Dad for a long time after that.

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