The Terrifying Events that Occurred After my Daughter Sounded Out the F-word
Like a lot of moms, I became a self-proclaimed saint after my daughter was born. I would do everything right. I would sanitize everything within a one-mile range of her location. I would teach her to read novels before she turned three years old. I would make her college-ready by six years old.
So, when my daughter sounded out the F-word, I fell apart.
We were walking through the door after school, and I had asked her what was the most exciting part of her day. She looked up at me, her headband dropped down just above her eyes, and she said, “A boy said f-f-f-f-u-u-u-u…” And, yes, she sounded out the last consonant.
I screamed the blood-curdling scream of someone who’d been wounded in combat. This same child, now a teenager, has since heard the word fly out of my mouth on several occasions, and I didn’t sound it out.
However, at the time, I had repented of my use of such foul language and could not fathom the idea that my child’s pure mind would be tarnished with such profanity.
I marched her to school the next day and demanded to meet with her teacher who kindly pretended, I think, to be horrified as well. I told her that the children were too young and innocent to hear and repeat this sinful word. There needed to be a serious investigation into this matter.
Later, my daughter said the teacher gave them a lecture about using “bad” words. The discussion my daughter and I had after that gave me another reason to scream, but I sucked it up and bit my tongue.
That wasn’t the most terrifying part though. It was something more insidious than that, which is perhaps what made it so terrifying.
I awoke sometime in the middle of the night.
I heard a hushed sound.
I leaped out of bed. Someone might be trying to break in. I must protect my daughter!
I felt my way through the dark. Then slammed my toe into the wall. I screamed and flipped on the lights to check the damage. There was my daughter, mouth agape as she was pointing at me.
“You said, ‘Fuuuudge!”
That’s not what I said. I yelled the “bad” word with the “k” sound at the end. And this time, my daughter didn’t sound it out when she repeated it.
Needless to say, she was reading novels by the time she was five, made fun of me for teaching her to sound out words by mispronouncing words on purpose, and is contemplating starting her own business instead of going to college, at least for now.
The intensity of my sainthood has been lost to intense laughter, sometimes emitting tears.