The “F” Word: As Taught By an Insightful Seven Year Old

I’m beginning to miss three years old.  Three year olds have no framework for naughtiness outside of their own.  They’ve learned about “no no’s” and timeouts and consequences but it’s all about them.  It’s one layered.  Seven is different.  At seven they get crushed beneath an avalanche of the realization that other people can be naughty too.  Then they are forced to categorize really naughty, kind of naughty and naughty when people are looking while making decisions about just how naughty they should be themselves.  It seems a bit much for a seven year old mind.  I miss three.

Here’s a conversation that Rachel (7 and a half) had with her babysitter.

Rachel:  There are some words that are not nice to say.

Babysitter:  Really?

Rachel:  Yep, and there are some words that it’s ok to say in some houses but in other houses it’s not ok to say.

Babysitter:  Ok.  Like what?

Rachel:  Like the “F” Word.  In some houses it’s ok to say but in others you’re not supposed to say it.

Babysitter:  (eyes getting bigger and smiling on the inside)  Uh huh

Rachel:  Yeah.  It’s ok to say it in our house.

Babysitter:  (nearly biting holes in his lips) mmmm.

Rachel:  My mom and dad say it, so it’s ok here but other parents might not want their kids to say it.

Babysitter:  So what is the “F” word exactly?

Rachel:  (reluctantly under her breath) Fudge.


  1. Apparently that’s all they said in Ralphie’s house too. Are you telling the whole truth?

  2. Why Christine? What did you hear? I’m mean of course.

  3. Ok really . . . was that a part of the movie? Cause’ she watched it at least three times this year. That would explain the mystery of the chocolaty “f” word.

  4. ahahahaha…awesome.

  5. Found it. Blaming it on Hollywood

    Quote from “A Christmas Story”

    Ralphie: Oooh fuuudge!
    Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Only I didn’t say “Fudge.” I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!
    Mr. Parker: [stunned] *What* did you say?
    Ralphie: Uh, um…
    Mr. Parker: That’s… what I thought you said. Get in the car. Go on!
    Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] It was all over – I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child’s play compared to what surely awaited me.

  6. So I was recently explaining to Dave and Jane, Dale and Jenni, Patrick and Tien, Sherrie, and a few others at the Sip and See, that we weren’t allowed to say “fart” growing up. Apparently when I said the word, I still sounded and looked visibly embarrassed. And Dave pointed it out. But that was one f-word we were not allowed to say in our house. And the other one, I’m not even sure when I learned it, but I was probably 22 or something. Haha.

    In 3rd grade (public school, K-12 for me), I learned that there was a bad word that started with “s”. I wrote a question to a friend on the back of my worksheet, “Is it sin?” It made sense to me—that’s a bad thing that starts with “s.”

  7. Stephanie – I can 100% see you turning red when you say “fart”. I’m gonna’ need you to do that next time I see you. Maybe every time.

    Outlawed in our home too. I remember an awkward dinner moment when I let it slip (I mean by saying it). You would have thought I used the real “f” word.


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