The Kindergartener has been adjusting very well to his new school environment. I was worried he would be completely overwhelmed. There’s a big difference between two days of preschool per week and five days in a row of full-day kindergarten, but he’s handling it like a champ. He loves riding the school bus and seeing his friends, four of which ended up in his class. He loves art and music and recess. No word yet on how freaked out the teacher is about his college-level reading skills, but with 23 kids to one teacher, she probably won’t notice until February.
Still, the Kindergartener’s happy when the weekend arrives. Everything returns to normal. The bickering between the children resumes. I return to my cranky self. Husband antagonizes me. It’s a familiar and comforting routine. Like this past Saturday when the kids were eating their lunch and I was standing by the refrigerator filling my cup with filtered water, which drips out at a rate of approximately one molecule per second. Husband snuck up behind me and licked the whole side of my face. (Normally, I keep these kinds of things to myself, but it’s important to the story.)
I was about to punch him in his tender man-parts but the kids were sitting right there. Instead, I shrieked, shoved him ineffectively, and muttered a bunch of stuff, careful to keep everything PG-rated and within the boundaries of the behavior I’m supposed to be modeling 24 hours a day.
But the Kindergartener didn’t miss a beat, and proclaimed, “Daddy’s a cock!!!”
When it comes to profanity, all the modern parenting books say the same thing. Just ignore it. Go with the flow as if he had just said “apple tree.” They’re just experimenting with language and gauging the reaction. But the Kindergartener could not have expressed more concisely exactly what was going through my mind at that very moment, and so, of course, I did the exact opposite thing you’re supposed to do, which was burst out into a constant stream of laughter until I got a cramp.
Since I had already ruined the moment and all the parenting experts were shaking their heads in unison, I dedicated myself to figuring out what he had meant to say. Believe it or not, “cock” isn’t in our everyday profanity repertoire, so I doubted he was parroting us. I wanted to blame it on public school, but I went to public school and I didn’t start saying things like that until third grade (okay, maybe the summer before).
My mind ran through all the potential meanings of cock. A male rooster? The stuff you pipe into cracks in the walls? No, it turned out that he had extrapolated it from the word “cocky.” He had deduced that someone who’s cocky must be a cock, and I think we can all agree that you’d have to be pretttty cocky to go up to somebody and lick her face like that. Therefore, I deem it to be proper and appropriate usage. Give the kid a diploma.