The F word...

.... made an entry in our home. Yeah the real one.

Last night over dinner N asked me 'Mama what does F*** mean?' She rhymed it somewhere between the real thing and the word 'hook' so I took a while to absorb the question. That and the fact that the kids are not eight yet. I cannot even begin to explain what I felt. Here I am insisting on the 'aap' instead of 'tum' and freaking out if I hear a 'shit' from them and they're onto this!

A 'talk' followed. I told her I was glad she'd asked me what it meant, that it was a 'bad' word not to be repeated, ever. However the damage will remain. I cannot possibly erase it from her memory. In all likelihood it would be even more securely planted since I warned her off it. And I'm afraid it'll make an appearance in a moment of anger or stress.

The thing that worries me more is that she picked it up from a child from our society. I've mentioned earlier how I'm not comfortable with the twins' playing with older kids, yet I don't know how to stop it. This is the kind of thing I was worried about. Not that bad language is okay at any age but the older ones seem to revel in it.

I considered talking to his mom but the other mothers warned me off. Apparently they'd spoken to her earlier but she didn't share the concern (they're kids, they will pick up all kinds of stuff, she maintains). So now I'm in a bit of a quandary. What should I do? Tell the children to stay away from that kid? That's not feasible since our's is a small society with limited playing space. Besides, the children like him. He is a likeable kid and he's just 10. But what if they pick up more bad language or worse start believing it's acceptable to use it?

Should I talk to the kid directly? I know him well enough. That's a thought I might follow through. Talking to the twins and warning them off bad language and bad behaviour rather than off bad kids seems like the best thing to do but it's hard, really hard to get it across to them. How does one explain that a kid who is friendly, who teaches them cricket, who races with them each evening, who's the epitome of cool is not so cool after all.


But then who said mothering would ever be easy.

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