Which in Sasha’s case were/was a scooter. I don’t know if this is just a New York thing, but the three-wheeled Mini-Kickboard is THE toy for 2-year-olds these days. I see them everywhere, and so does Sasha, who’s always trying to borrow other kids’ scooters at various parks.
Anyway, she was quite happy to receive it and started learning how to glide around the neighborhood until it got too cold and we had to come home. The only slightly odd thing is that to Sasha, it’s not a scooter. It’s “Sasha skateboard,” I guess in contrast to Daddy’s skateboard, which hangs on a ladder in the hallway and doesn’t get used very often these days. At first, I thought of correcting her—”It’s not a skateboard, it’s a scooter”—but I didn’t bother. If she thinks it’s a skateboard, fine. One day, perhaps, she’ll move up to an actual skateboard, and then she won’t have to change her vocabulary. Great! But still, I wondered if that was the right choice to make.
This came up again that night, as I was giving her a bath. She was all clean, and was just playing in the tub, when she suddenly looked down at her nether regions with a thoughtfulness and concentration she’d never shown before.
“This is pigu,” she finally said, pointing at her bits and using the Chinese word for “butt.”
“Well,” I said, “this is not pigu.” I pointed at her butt. “This is pigu.”
“This is pigu,” she said. Then she pointed at her front. “What’s this?”
“This is…” I paused for what felt like minutes but was barely a second. What to say? I hate the babytalk word “gina,” but I also knew if I said “vagina,” she’d miss at least one of the three syllables. Also, there’s just something simply awkward for this father in saying “vagina” to his daughter. (Why?) Other, darker possibilities suggested themselves to me, and I had a nice internal laugh imagining Sasha repeating them to her mother, her classmates, her teacher. Finally, I knew what I was going to say and so finished my sentence: “This is cooter.”
“This is cooter,” she repeated, pointing.
I sighed. That just didn’t sound right either, but what could I do now? The word was lodged in her mind now, and changing it to something else would only confuse her. Maybe it was better to just let her keep saying pigu.
No, you know what? I like cooter. It’s neither clinical nor crude, and frankly, it’s fun to say. And according to Jon Stewart, it may not mean what you think it means:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|