What's in a word?
My daughter is experimenting with the "F" word. She has heard it, knows its bad, but wants me to acknowledge its infamous nature. First experiment, while driving in the car we play a rhyming game. She loves to play the game, but is not the best at creating rhymes; often she just adds the letter f to the word, for instance - mouse rhymes with flouse. She starts it up last Tuesday with, "Mom, what rhymes with f*#k?" I thought, "nah...that's not what I heard." So I ask, "I'm sorry hunny, I didn't hear you?" I readjusted my rearview mirror so as to clearly see her as she spoke. "What rhymes with F*#K?" Yes. That is what I heard. I giggled and said, "That's not even a word. You can't just keep adding f to the beginning of words to make a rhyme." Phew. Cleared that one with ease. Not likely. Four year olds are mastermind manipulators. Experiment two: my mother is a singing grandmother. She sings a million songs and I can remember about fifty of them. One that I do remember goes like this: I love you a bushel and a peck A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck... Thursday of last week while driving home my daughter belted out her version of the song: I love you a bushel and a f*#k A bushel and a f*#k and hug around the neck... I said, "Hunny, those aren't the words. Its peck - a bushel and a peck." She yells at me, "What are you even saying? A bushel and a what?" "PECK!" I scream, "PEEECCCKKK!" I was losing the battle to keep the "F" word out of our vocabulary. This morning, four short days later, I pulled into the garage and exited the car. I walked around to open the door to take my son out of his seat and as I open the door I hear it again, "F*#k!" I said, "What did you say?" She repeated it. I said, "OK - you are not allowed to say that word. It is a bad word. If you say that word again I am going to wash your mouth out with soap." She said, "What word? Puck?" I said, "Oh no - don't try that. You know the word I am talking about. Do not say it again." As she hopped out of the car, she surreptitiously glanced at me and grinned. She won the battle.