The f-word question came up again, no surprise. When Doodlebug is curious, she is relentless. This time, I was totally straight with her, and I have to say it felt pretty weird intentionally saying the word fuck to a 7-year-old. But I always say I want her to feel comfortable asking me anything, and I figure this is part of it. So I told her what the f-word was, and how it's not a very nice word and I didn't want her repeating it, etc. I explained that I was telling her because I believe in honest answers. She totally got it and promised to keep the knowledge to herself.
And then a pause, and then the question that I just knew would be next. "But what does the word mean?"
"Well...it's a not-very-nice word for sex."
"What could be not-nice about making babies?"
(I know--so sweet and innocent!) I did a little backtracking. "Remember how we talked about sex and how babies are made? Well sometimes grown-ups who are in love (Repeat: Grown-Ups. Who Are In Love) have sex just because they like it, even if they don't want to make a baby." She raised her eyebrows. So the conversation took a left turn and we continued down that path for a little longer. It was not entirely new territory, just elaborations on the same message she has been hearing for years.
I'm getting so comfortable with the birds-and-bees talk, that I barely blink when it comes up. But the f-word, well I'm still a little shaky on that topic. But knowing my daughter I will have plenty more opportunities to discuss it. Another thing I do know: telling her was the right thing. It takes years to build the kind of trust I hope to give my kids. I want Doodlebug to be able to ask me anything. She may not want to ask me everything, but she will be able to.
Before I tucked her in that night, she had one last question. "When did Pop and Granna tell you what the f-word meant?"
Ha! They wouldn't have touched that conversation with a f-ing 10-ft pole!