Please excuse my child’s profanity

I guess we should not have been too surprised to hear these words from the mouth of our 5 year old (almost 6!) We had recently been on a boat full of sailors, after all.

For context, he was frustrated with something on the computer and said

Aw, fuck.  Oops! I said “fuck.”  Sorry about that.


The way he innocently repeated himself before apologizing underscored just how much he really didn’t understand the gravity of the word he had used.

We were all in the room together and Angela’s surprise and parental prudence was masked by her muffled chuckling. Dina’s eyes got huge and she could barely contain herself. Hearing it from a tiny little voice is pretty darn funny, after all.

I was quick to feign a stern parental response. But, like he already said, he knew he shouldn’t have said it.

Before we are criticized for crappy parenting or exposing our child to bad influences (save it – we left the judgmental competitive parenting behind,) we have to admit that this was not the first episode. He first said it when he was only four.

Yep, he was taught how to curse at age 4 back in the USA at a park in Oregon. Some of the bigger kids on the playground thought it was hilarious to teach him a few choice words and he then came back and used them. He got in trouble and hadn’t used a taboo word since.

Anyway, later in the day we went for a walk to the beach had a long talk about word choice and where he’s heard these things. The reality is that he’ll hear it the rest of his life, so there’s no point in trying too hard to point fingers or place blame.

Still, I tend to think he may hear less of it abroad (in English) than he would back in the US.  Of course, we have to look in the mirror too. “Hello, pot? This is the kettle. You’re black.”

We had a really great conversation and, despite the surly topic, came to some logical conclusions and agreements. In the end, he managed to stump me when the discussion turned philosophical.

So, why are there bad words?


Anyway, why admit to this random parenting incident? We’re in paradise and that’s what we write about?

Well, first of all it’s funny. Second, its a little closer to our daily reality. I’ve actually been a little bored reading our own blog recently.  We went here and then we went there. It’s fun for us, of course, but it seems like a stale read.

After all, the most important thing we’re doing is raising an amazing (albeit precocious) kid – we just also happen to be traveling. It doesn’t matter where we are, being together is still the most  fun and interesting part of the trip.

Shouldn’t I be too embarrassed to write about this little incident? Aw, F@#* it.

11 thoughts on “Please excuse my child’s profanity

  • February 4, 2011 at 7:13 AM

    Answer to Bodes question about why there are bad words:

    So that people who own VW vans have something to say when they break down (again!).

  • February 4, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    Aw, too funny! Glad you are getting him used to the real world.

    And we can relate… we were delighted to receive a call from Nora’s school one day, when apparently after being irritated with one of her 4-yo counterparts, she decided to call him a f*cker. The teachers called us and asked us why we used that kind of language at home and what were we letting her watch on TV, as she obviously felt comfortable using the word, and in proper context.

    We were just proud the teachers knew the proper context, as we had some choice words for them after we hung up the phone! Needless to say, Nora repeated the phrase for a few more dinner parties and other populous gatherings, before we finally imparted the concept that while there are plenty of word options out there, some are better left unsaid (until you’re a parent, at which point they’re fully justified).

    Safe travels and hope you don’t run into many occasions where a loudly expressed F*CK is called for! 🙂

  • February 4, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    i’m gonna teach bode how to flip someone off – in true WEST COAST form, not that lame thing that east coasters do.

  • February 4, 2011 at 8:11 AM

    and thanks for the picture of the bakery! how beautiful =)

  • February 4, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    Love it! My son was three when he first burst forth with the beloved F-bomb. He got 8 points for accurate usage, but a penalty deduction for over-dramatizing the moment. Apparently there was some kid at daycare who was a prolific swearer, and the word came home with him.

    He’s about to turn 15, and what we say is that “some people” might be offended by saying certain words, and we don’t want you to get used to saying them so that you’ll slip up sometime, so you’re also not allowed to use them with us, even though we’re not really personally offended. Does that shit make sense? Oops… Yeah, that sums up my parenting skills.

  • February 4, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Hello, my name is Alex, I´m currently riding a motorcycle across South America, and a nice sticker with your web site was put on my motorcycle out side a hotel in Alausi Ecuador. Perhaps it was your family I¨m hoping.

    Your adventure sounds amazing and wish you the best. I´ll be here in Alausi for the night and leaving in the morning if you would like to slip a pizza and swap stories.

    I also invite you to my own site for more adventures

    Good luck and have a great day!


  • February 4, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Yeah, computers can definitely make you swear 🙂

    Hope all is good back on the road. Sure enjoying all the super pics & posts.

    Take care & have fun!


  • February 5, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Well, first off, your blog is not a stale read. You don’t get as many followers as you guys have by being boring.

    And honestly, hearing about the “normal” day to day issues is just as interesting as the wild adventures. As a parent who wants to travel like this sometime in the (hopefully near) future, I enjoy hearing about what its like to raise a child while undertaking a grand adventure. It shows that parenting is the same no matter what your living situation is. Even hearing about little fixes on the bus or what (and how) dinner was made brings the trip closer to home and less of a “post card” type of fantasy.

    Its nice to be reminded that you are real people who are actually doing this (and that gives hope and information to those of us who want to).

  • February 5, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Hey Guys!

    Glad to see it’s not just our almost-3-year-old that is having those issues – we’ve already had a few “Oh My G*d” and “Oh Sh*t” moments. Scary!

    As an aside, have y’all come across Thomas and Sandra Kunkel and their blog “Mission Van Go”? Kind of random, but I mentioned BodesWell to a colleague and she said she had some friends doing something very similar. Check ’em out:

    Safe travels!

  • February 9, 2011 at 11:02 AM


    Believe me, nothing he hears on the road with you is any worse than the choice words he would be learning if he had to ride a school bus every day! With my now teenager (yikes!) we have moved on from “don’t use those words”, to “don’t use those words at the wrong time”. It is unavoidable, so we make sure that he knows we don’t care as long as it’s with his friends and not at an inappropriate time.

    I love reading your Bode stories. It’s such a great age and you are so fortunate to be able to spend so much time with him.

  • February 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    I really enjoy the tag on this one.

    I think you’ll only have a problem if Bode starts to learn the Spanish versions as well!

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