Andrew picked Katie up from piano lessons on Monday
night. He told me about the conversation
that took place in the car on the way home.
"Daddy, why do some people use words that we don't?"
"Like what words?" Andrew inquired.
"Well, like the F word," Katie responded.
Andrew was getting ready for a whole
discussion of why we don't curse. And so he started to explain how there are some words that are rude ways to describe
things that aren't actually rude.
Then Katie said, "People
in my class use the F word all the time, but I know it's bad."
Andrew grew alarmed at that point. What was going on in the first grade? Kids were using the F word in class? He told me, "I decided to dig a little
deeper, and I asked her to tell me what the F word was."
Katie shook her head vigorously. "I can't say it. I can't."
Andrew reassured her, "I won't get mad. You can tell me about anything, and you will
never get in trouble for letting me know.
It's okay to tell me."
"I can't say it," Katie whispered.
"How about if you spell it for me?" Andrew suggested.
"Okay," Katie finally said.
She took a deep breath. "F - A -
As Andrew recounted the story, I asked him, "Did you laugh?"
"I don't think I laughed, but I was very relieved."
"Thank God you asked her what the word was," I said.
At dinner, we discussed the F word with Katie and Annie
Rose. We told them that our family uses
the word "toot" instead of "fart" because we think "fart" is a rude word. It made sense to Katie. She was comfortable not using the F
word. I pointed out that there are other
words we don't use for the same reason, such as "shut up" for "please be quiet."
I have been musing about the incident for a few days. It's funny; it's sweet, and it reminds me
that for all her posturing about being a big kid, Katie is really very
young. I am in no hurry for her to grow