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the “fuck” finger

Stunned, a champagne glass slips from my hand and scatters all over the floor.

– Mama, why this finger is called the “fuck finger”?

– HAHH?! Eyes wide open, mouth wide open.

I stare at her for a moment and I try to read her. She is not being a smart ass, she keeps trying to fold her fingers into a “fuck you” position and she barely manages. Just the smash of the glass seems to take the attention away from her hand.

– They say this is the “fuck”finger, but why?

– What? Where did you hear that?

Her eyes wander from my face to the glass on the floor and back. I can see doubt on her face: she is unsure if she is in trouble or not.

Doubt on her face; shock on mine.

LittleDumbass comes over to check what happened. I command him to back off.

– Ok, tell me – I am nailing her with my eyes – where did you hear that; who said it; how; when… I need to keep my cool because, despite MissAttitude can sometimes be a smart ass, this time she seems asking a genuine questions.

Why this finger is called the “fuck” finger

Apparently, everybody in second grade seems to acknowledge that there is a finger –indifferent to which hand- related to “fuck”. Apparently “fuck” is also a term they all are quite confused, but there is a general feeling that the term has not good connotations.

Breath, I tell myself, as I try to regain my pose – and my pulse. Think fast, because this one requires some… careful answer.

The little one peeks over again eager to blame LittleMissAttitude for whatever is out there to be blamed. My eyes do the work: get out. He knows.

This is one of these moments in life when parenthood goes beyond playdates, birthday presents or family pictures; this is reality; this is my children facing the world beyond my protection. This is the time they will start facing the world with their own eyes, not with mines anymore.

I explain her the meaning of fuck; the meaning of the fuck finger; the meaning of second graders going around trying to figure out why this finger and not the other one.

As I clean the scattered glass on the floor I wonder how I will manage this things from now on; how hard times peek on the horizon and as l single mother l need to learn – as much as my children – to deal with these issues.

So, I raise my finger – not the fuck one – and ask for all the parents out there for tips and advice…

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Arthur Park #

    I was working at these reception centres for asylum seekers – with kids in all ages from all over the world – and they learned the finger and the word before they could say “mama”

    Confuse her, tell her it’s a bad word with more than 400 known meanings – and none of them are good. She probably heard it on Cartoon Network first.

    Tell her to use it at home only, give her five minutes each week to curse, and the urge to test it outside goes away?

    Hell no, fuck no – I still don’t know thye answer.

    May 24, 2010
    • You have a good point there, and l did already, about explaining the word and its bad connotations. l know she somehow felt gilty for saying something bad when she didint even know what it meant.

      But no, she wont be allow to curse in the house – she has to wait to do it inher own house, then.


      May 24, 2010
  2. Ah, yeah. I remember the ‘how did the baby get in there’ and ‘what is the F word’ days over the years.. I think you are doing a fab job. We all get hit with those like motherhood landmines and we have to just do the best we can and hope for affordable therapy bills for them someday, yes?!

    May 24, 2010
    • he he he… that´s right!
      thanks, marymac… actually the bees and the babyes and the penises converstations have already started…

      May 24, 2010
  3. I find it easier to teach my kids not to repeat bad words or jesters, as to try to tell the word not to cuse. For some reason it seems that cusing is the norm now. When I was a kids; if I said DAMN. I would get a hand across the face.

    May 26, 2010
    • Thanks krazycolt…
      somehow this kids today come with an updated version, and they smell fear and undecision from a mile long.

      May 26, 2010
  4. Both mine asked the same question at a certain point. I told them it meant a bad word and there would be more chores for them if they went around doing it.

    The worst? My daughter said Scunt for skunk when she was little and fuck for fork. Middle of a restaurant she’d start screaming “Fuckkkk Mommy!!!”

    Motherhood is so glamorous sometimes, huh?

    May 30, 2010
  5. Brita #

    Being from Europe I am constantly amazed at how much fuss Americans can do over just a word (or nudity).
    While your children are subjected to religious indoctrination, double standards and dubious pedagogy, you throw your outrage on a word that describes a human and natural act.

    What kind of people are you trying to make out of your children?
    Do you realize how much power you give the words, when you are so offended by them?

    Children in the western world grow up in a world of inequality, twisted sex roles, pollution and lust for power.
    Silvia, I think you should be proud of your daughter, because she asks about the things she does not understand, and I think you need to protect her confidence.
    If you react with horror at her questions at this age, do you think she will tell you something or ask about the difficult stuff later in her life?

    I believe you need to be honest when you bring up children, even when you find the situation a little scary. The children who get honest answers to honest questions, are also the children who are best placed to cope with their own and the world’s challenges in the future.

    December 5, 2011
    • I remember once while I was living in the US a friend got really upset with me because I told her child where chicken nuggets came from… I didn’t understand why I was supposed to lie, but I understood her point to protect her child.

      I understood, but I didn’t agree.

      What kind of people are you trying to make out of your children? You ask. I’ll tell you: I want my kids to be strong, independent, realistic, loving and caring people. What will they be? Just time will tell.

      While your children are subjected to religious indoctrination, double standards and dubious pedagogy, you throw your outrage on a word that describes a human and natural act.


      Despite I don’t have to explain myself to a fucking idiot like you that insults a person she has never met, nor she does know, I feel I need to explain: Being alone with 2 small children, in a country that is not my own, I do a very good job with my kids. Somethings I may not be good at it, but to be a good mom, to be at their same level, and to grow with them … THAT I CAN DO!

      Religious indoctrinations? Are you kidding me? I wear a cross around my neck for a reason; my kids will hear, ALWAYS! mama saying the good night prayer -no matter where they are. That says you? A Danish? Many scandinavians go to church to get dåp, konfirmasjon or to get married, and never set foot in the church again.

      We wear our feelings on our sleeves – so no, no much double standards, and excuse me, but: to show the fuck finger… a human and natural act?!?
      What the hell is wrong with you?

      You should read this post one more time, sloooowyly, so you can get my point (I am not holding my breath in hope) and not saying that I “act in horror” or things like that. If you need a tip (you probably do), I can tell you that:

      1.- I am so damn proud of my kids, of the people hey already are.
      2.- I am so damn proud that my kids actually TRUST me to ask questions -and they trust me because there is a synergy in our family that creates that trust.
      3.- Despite the knowledge that other people will influence our kids, we parents are up for a shock once in a while. This post was about that, a shock that followed in fact many good conversations with my daughter -who is happily trusting her mother more than other girls to confide her “things.”

      Either you are the most (wrongly) judgmental, brainless and incoherent reader I have ever encounter or you are plain stupid.

      … I am fearing both, actually.

      December 5, 2011

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