Recently Ruby had two of her little friends over and they were in the basement when I heard someone shout the "naughty H word." I called the kids to come and have a chat with me (if they are at my house I figure I have every right to mother them.) Here is how our little chat went:
Me: I heard someone say a naughty word.
3 kids: we didn't say it.
Me: I heard someone say Hell and that isn't a word we use here. (figured I should clarify) I'm not mad and your not in trouble.
2 boys: It was Ruby!
Ruby: It wasn't me, it was ______.(this went back and forth)
Me: Since you can't tell me who said it, then I am going to let you go play. If I hear it again everyone will go home.
A little later Ruby sent everyone home so she could practice writing her name and other school prep as she calls it. When she came up stairs, I asked her if she said it, she had a very guilty look and nodded. I explained what they word meant in the context she used it and why we don't say it, I asked her where she heard it from. Turns out that she saw it at a friends when Star Wars is one. She told me Princess Leia says it and when she said it downstairs they were playing Star Wars and she was Leia.
A week later(tonight) we are reading scriptures and the "naughty H word" came up. I said it with abandon. And Ruby's jaw dropped and she just stared at me. I explained that it is a place, just like heaven is and if it is in the scriptures it is ok to say it. She closes her mouth and we get ready to proceed. I look at Emma to make sure she is ready to start and she looks at me and says "HELL" with the most pleased look on her face. She stretched and enunciated that word until she was out of breath. I laughed. I failed to mention to the girls that it is also ok to say Hell during or after childbirth. I will save that little lesson for later in life.