More from Bloody Dad


Ben is ploughing through his latest Anthony Horowitz novel and dutifully he’s telling me about the swear word count – a lot of ‘hells’, several ‘bloodys’ and even one ‘bitch’.

He spells the words out to me to avoid any harmful impact on my obviously sensitive parental psyche.
He missed out the ‘t’ in ‘bitch’ – but I put him right.

Swear words have become quite an issue in his life and they’re proving a perplexing minefield through which to steer.

For instance, he and his friends at school were recently discussing the everyday activities of gnomes.
The perceived wisdom in the classroom, presumably Disney-inspired, is that they work all day and work all night.

Ben offered the thought,

“How do they get time for sex?”

Hmm, liberal parenting regime you might think – or just an early introduction to sex education (both true).

But his reflection was greeted with shocked silence.
He’d used the s-e-x word in the company of everyday country folk.

The outrage was reported to one of the lunch-hour supervisory staff who issued Ben with a formal warning, a serious sanction because three warnings in a week means the loss of Golden Time.

The loss of one weekly Golden Time session also means exclusion from the end-of-term treat, this Easter’s being a trip to the ten-pin bowling alley.

Ben’s a bit shocked by all of this.
What if he’d used a serious swear-word, one of the ones he picked up in the playground in Plymouth?

Or even one of the expressions (probably worse) he’s heard used by his parents at moments of extreme stress?

Perhaps in Jersey it’s a problem to say ‘Go-od’ in that expressive way his father has when computers play up?

Where do you draw the line?

Would ‘hell’ bring eternal damnation? Whoops I did it again.

Or is ‘damn’ okay if you add the ‘nation’?

Is ‘penis’ a good word or a bad one? And if it’s not acceptable, what should he call it?

His Mum once went to see a play called the Vagina Monologues, clearly he can’t mention that in the playground.

Grown-ups have such effing double-standards.

I seem to have been ousted…
Beta Mum

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
This entry was posted in Beta Mum's Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to More from Bloody Dad

  1. Expatmum says:

    Oh come on – this is clearly a ploy to let the world know you’re still getting some! Pitiful! (and I’m far too tired to be jealous.)

  2. Mya says:

    I’m not sure gnomes have sex. Have you ever seen a shagging gnome? Oh hang on – I think I may have…a front garden somewhere…Mablethorpe perhaps.

    It looks like Ben is going to have to develop a lexicon of alternative swearwords. Sugar, fudge, bother…that sort of bollocks! I wish him the best of luck.

    Mya x

  3. Potty Mummy says:

    In fact, carrying on from Mya’s comment, it will be great training for him for when he eventually has small children around…

  4. Rosie says:

    If gnomes do have sex then someone should put a stop to it!! There are far too many of them around.

  5. I thought we were supposed to encourage children to be upfront about these things nowadays? Obviously, I’m not. I can’t even bring myself to type out the words in question (not the swear words, you understand). Mind you, I am basing this on the potty training book I bought at the weekend, which advises being frank in labelling private parts. What a minefield. There should be courses in parenting etiquette to help us all.

  6. Beta Mum says:

    expat mum – i think you’re getting the wrong idea here…

    mya – I once indulged in a bit of gnome-liberation while still a callow youth, and there may have been some shagging involved… although not necessarily by the gnomes.

    potty – Ben says he doesn’t want children as they’re too much work. We’ve obviously made it very clear how hard we find them.

    Rosie – I agree. Even the Grundys are at it.

    MatL – I am all for being up-front. Mike is less so. I’ve been winning up to now, because of my closer proximity to the children. He may go for a last ditch attempt to subdue their hitherto open attitude to everything… but hopefully it’s too late. They are, after all, 6 (nearly 7) and 9. And remember what the Jesuits say?

  7. Iota says:

    I think the school was harsh. A joke like Ben’s should be rewarded, not punished. Or wasn’t it a joke? Was he genuinely interested in how gnomes procreate? In which case they should have answered his question honestly and openly. So much for having either a sense of humour or a healthy intellectual curiosity.

  8. Lucy Diamond says:

    lol at “How do they get time for sex?” – hilarious!
    I agree, the school are being a bit mean and humourless. The boy’s a comedy genius, clearly.

Leave a Reply