"Mommy," Chickie told me yesterday, "I want an apple cut in slices."
"Okay," I replied. "You want me to cut it up?"
"Yeah," she said. "I want it in slices because I don't want to eat the freakin' core. I don't want to eat the freakin' core. Freakin' core. I like saying freakin' core. Freakin' core...."
It was at about this time that I escaped into the laundry room to let out my laughter, Chickie's "freakin' core" repetitions following me the whole way. I called The Engineer to giggle a little...and to suggest that we be a little more careful what we say around our kids.
I returned to the kitchen and had a friendly discussion with my four-year-old. "'Freakin'' just isn't a very nice word for kids to say," I told her, "and I'm sorry Mommy and Daddy have said it." I gave her "darn" as an alternative. She complied, calling it a "darn it core."
I posted the little exchange on Facebook, and it caused an interesting discussion, which I've pasted here:
Jeff (a theatre friend):
When did "freakin'" go from euphamism to "not nice word"? Perhaps not having kids I don't get these memos.
Mellodee (a friend who also happens to be a great blogger):
So where's the line on what our kids should or shouldn't say? Well, that line needs to be drawn by parents, depending on their sensitivities, convictions, culture, the child's age, etc. For us, the line falls between "darn" and "freakin'," at least while our kids are young.
I must admit though, whatever its level of inappropriateness, Chickie's resolute statements about an apple core today were hilarious. Freakin' hilarious.
(Guess I'll have to be more careful what I type when Chickie learns to read....)