So tonight my daughter busts out with the word “faggotty.” As in “this household rule is faggotty.”
She’s overtired and five. She’s integrating “faggotty” into her conversation the same way she integrated “raw-ther” after she binge-watched “Eloise.” She has no idea what it means or what kind of reaction it will draw so she’s taking it for a test drive. I’m sure there’s a pamphlet somewhere about what to do when your kid says something rancorous but I don’t have it in my back pocket and I have no idea how you articulate to a kindergartener that there are “bad words” and there are “off limits” words.
I’m overtired too and stuck on being horrified. I’m trying to keep it cool and give some kind of cogent, age appropriate explanation of why we don’t use that word but internally I’m like, “What?! WHAT?!”
This isn’t one of those “she picked it up from at home” things. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not saints. When she was two she used to call bandaids “dammits” because it took me a long time to break the habit of saying “dammit” whenever I stubbed my toe or got a paper cut. And there was this one time we almost got t-boned on 3rd Avenue so it’s possible she’s heard the phrase, “Holy Christ on a cracker you fucking asshat!” courtesy of her father.
“Faggotty,” though? No. No way.
To be frank I’d much rather my five year old be running around screaming “Goddammit, you asshat!” than using “faggotty.” Sure it’s coarse and inappropriate to take the Lord’s name in vain and make butt jokes. But it’s at least equal opportunity.
I know that when kids go out into the world some of the world rubs off on them. Lord knows what else she’s going to pick up at school. But I didn’t realize how chilling it could be until tonight.