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The “phoque” story

It is time for me to tell you again….

This is a crowd favorite when I need to tell a story where I make a fool of myself.

I hope you enjoy it!

Summer 2003, Emily just turned 5

There isn’t much to do where we live now so we decided to go to the aquarium.  It’s a small aquarium with a touch pool and 2 seals.  I’m sure they had other things but those are the 2 exhibits I remember. 

If you’ve ever taken French class you know that seals in French is “phoque” which sounds exactly like Fuck.

French, my mother tongue.  

Up until a couple of months prior to this visit, Emily’s universe was French.  She was the only person I could speak French to in our new world.  So that day, I was speaking French to my daughter.

Like all the kids at the aquarium, Emily got excited when she saw the seals.  I felt it was the perfect opportunity to make her practice the “f” sound which she doesn’t have in her repertory as of yet.

Because I am an “amazing” mom, I get on my knees to be at my daughter’s height and tell her (in French) that those 2 mammals are “phoque”

Emily: “Poque”

Me: non Emily “Phoque”…. “fffffff” phoque!

Emily: Poque

Me: Mais non Emily, regarde ma bouche….. fffffff phoque  (no Emily, look at my mouth…. fffffff  phoque)

And we went on like that for a couple of minutes.

Suddenly this older lady standing next to me says out loud that she prefers to wait before teaching her kids that word…”




That’s when I realized that Emily and I were alone around the Seals exhibit.

Parents were moving their kids away from us while covering their ears.

As I looked around, I finally saw my dear husband in a little alcove laughing is ass off.

I was slightly embarrassed!  

Come on, the guy could have told me. 

Have you ever made a fool of yourself?



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17 thoughts on “The “phoque” story

  1. Hahaha! I teach Spanish kids and when I show them a seal, they forget the word, ¨sel¨and say ¨fucka¨! (Foca is the word sfor seal in Spanish) It is mortifying and I try not to laugh haha!

  2. My oldest got us when we ran into some firemen outside of a grocery when he was about 3. They were stopped in front of the store and as we came out he spotted it and started shouting “Fiwah Fuck!”. The firemen thought it was hilarious.

  3. OMG…. as a French Canadian mom in the US with 2 daughters that also speak French I taught my girls “La complainte du phoque en Alaska”… Yep, you guessed it… they decided to belt it out in public. Nice πŸ˜‰ The things we do!!

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