The other day, child #1 proudly told me that he knew all the swear words. Wow, I said, all of them? Alright then, tell me some…

Well, he said, I know the ‘A’ word.

Which is…?

Ass, said child #1.

Interesting that he chose not to go with arse. Ok, I said, I don’t have any major objection to that one, just don’t say it at school, ok? Which other ones do you know?

Well, he says, I know the ‘F’ word.

And what would that be? He came over and whispered it in my ear. It’s a real milestone the first time you hear your child say fuck, and not in a good way.

Ah, I say, you do know don’t you, that the ‘F’ word is quite bad swear word and I’d rather you didn’t use that one at all, ok? He nodded and looked a bit embarrassed.

I try very hard not to swear in front of my children and I pointed out that he wouldn’t ever have heard me say that word. No that’s right, except that time last weekend when I fell over at Sarah and Dan’s wedding and it might have accidentally slipped out.

I asked him what else he had learned. He told me he knew the ‘S’ word but refused to say it. Is it shit? I asked. He nodded. Do you know what it means? He shook his head.

It’s a very rude word for poo, I told him, which lightened the mood somewhat.

Anyway, I said, where did you hear these words? He didn’t say ‘from Frank/Jeff/Brian (not their real names) in the playground’ which would have been the honest answer but he didn’t want to dob in his fiends and that’s fine. Instead he claimed that there was a book in the school library which had an alphabetical list of all the swears. I found this hard to believe, not least because there’s definitely a few swear words between A and F which he failed to mention. He thinks he knows all the swear words. He doesn’t. I know all the swear words.


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