Pieces of the Puzzle
As I was filling the electric kettle with water this morning, my mouth watering at the thought of my first morning cuppa, my 7 year old ran into the kitchen and effused, “Lookit!”
I continued to fill my kettle, knowing that getting the water boiling would make me much more open to listening to my kids on this holiday Monday. I looked sideways at her and said, “Mmmhmm?” fully expecting it to be something completely uninteresting and, with luck, soon forgotten.
“This puzzle piece looks like a person!” she shared excitedly as she held a yellow puzzle piece too close to my face. “Want to know how?”
“Sure,” I lied, sighing inward. It had been a long week and I just wanted to sit on the couch, sip my coffee, and watch the news. I hoped for a quick demonstration followed by the predictable change in activity typical of the 7-year-old attention span.
“This is the head,” she pointed out as she held the puzzle piece in one hand and indicated with the other.
“Mmmhmmm…” I hummed encouragement as I put the kettle in its receptacle and turned it on.
“This is one arm, and this is the other arm,” she continued eagerly.
I reached for the dirty bodum, pulled out the plunger, and turned on the tap to rinse out the grounds. “I see,” I remarked, suddenly realizing I had about two seconds to formulate a response to what I knew was coming.
Yes, my mind is often, if not always, in the gutter, and I can make a dirty joke about pretty much anything. So when I’m looking at a puzzle piece, I see this:
And yes, my lines of propriety are slightly skewed, and I think some things my kids do and say are funny when other parents might think they are inappropriate. I’m not rigid and I’m far from a prude, so nakedness, farts, poop, penises, boobies, bums, snot, and many other things are fodder for raucous laughter at our house. Probably other families are the same, but I don’t know nor care how they relate to their children. Not my monkeys, not my circus.
It took about half a second for the realization to hit my logical brain, and now I had 1.5 seconds to come up with a reasonable response to the assumed forthcoming body part names. She would be saying “penis” in five… four… three… two…
With incredible speed, my reply choices flashed from a sarcastic “ha ha” to an amused “of course” and the repercussions of each. Panic-stricken but remaining outwardly calm, the bodum overflowed as I braced myself for impact. I didn’t have time to wonder why I was even worried about it – we say “penis” all the time but I suppose it’s rarely before I’ve had my first cup of java!
“This is one leg,” she said, pointing to the left-hand appendage jutting out on the puzzle piece.
Time slowed down.
OMG, OMG, OMG…
“And this is the other leg,” and here she did the unexpected: she indicated what I would have called the penis.
“And this is the tail!” she finished triumphantly.
Delighted, I raised my eyebrows, smiled at her proudly, and managed a stuttering “That’s so cool!”
Looking at it now, I shake my head and wonder how I could have been so wrong?! Of COURSE, it’s a leg! Of COURSE it is!!
What kind of depraved, perverted, corrupt brain could see it any other way?