Apparently Ben and I have been using the f-word as an adverb far too frequently.
Recently Mihiretu has started saying "fucka-fucka-fucka" when he's feeling playful. He might be kicking a soccer ball through the house, say, or pushing a pint-sized dump-truck filled with legos. "Fucka-fucka-fucka", he'll say, almost to himself. Contentedly, like we are when we swear, generally speaking. It's only when we're feeling loose, when we're making jokes or exercising some theatricality that we use this word. "That is so fucking great!" we might howl when we realize that the new season of Survivor starts next week. Or "Fucking weasels. It was the fucking weasels that ate our chickens!"
A couple weeks ago, Mihiretu connected "fucka" with another favorite word, "butt". He, like most of the under-five set, just loves to talk about butts. "I see Lana's butt!" he'll crow when she changes into her pajamas. "Smell my butt!" he'll insist, post-fart, poking his bottom towards the nearest family member. Or, like yesterday, when we were seated next to a mom at the park who was showing a little crack, a whispered "Butt!" accompanied by a small pointing finger, a suppressed giggle and much maternal shushing.
Like the old Reeses commercial, "Fuck" and "butt" are two great tastes that taste great together. "Fucka-my-butt" he might mumble as he places one MegaBlock on another. When this particular linguistic combination was first launched, I, being the only adult present, ignored it, knowing that if I responded I would hear nothing but "fucka-my-butt" for months. Occasionally, over the last few weeks, he has busted out with it in public but because it was always half-hearted and combined with other nonsense words, I'm fairly certain no one noticed.
Last week, however, Mihiretu shouted "fucka-my-butt" in Ben's presence. He caught Ben at a particularly harried moment. "Don't ever say that!" he demanded.
And so, these days, when Mihiretu wants to piss us off, which is often, we hear a lot of "fucka-my-butt". We are now on the same united team of ignore so when he drops his favorite oath, we don't look at him, we don't say anything, we don't - ever - crack a smile. The girls are under strict orders to follow our lead.
Last night after the kids were in bed, Ben and I, nestled on the couch, feet propped on the coffee table, got on the topic of "fucka-my-butt". Soon, of course, we were laughing.
"I'm just worried," Ben said, "that people are going to think we taught him that. That," and here he gulped and wiped a tear of mirth, "it's a parental suggestion around here."
When we finally got off the couch, I asked Ben to please put the throw pillows back where he found them (as you might imagine they have very specific spots). "Fucka-my-butt", he said, conversationally, plumping pillows.
Later, propped up in bed with books, we heard a small voice call out for Mommy.
"Fucka-my-butt," I sighed as I bookmarked my novel and threw off the covers.
Even later, somewhere around two, Ben got paged by Mihiretu. "Fucka-my-BUTT," he mumbled groggily as he rolled out of bed. I couldn't sleep for laughing.