As I’ve told you before, we tend to have pretty hilarious and/or bizarre dinner conversations at my house (depending on your perspective).
My sweet husband, “The Gatekeeper,” is all about order and peace at the table. He really hates it when the kids and I get silly or inappropriate. And the man has a point there, really, I get it. But sometimes, we truly just can’t help ourselves.
The other night we were talking about ethnicity. My husband is 100% Italian; I’m more of a mutt. The kids absolutely despise that I ruined their chances of being purebred Italians.
So Mini-Me, desperately trying to find a way to be more than 50% Italian, pleaded, “Mom? Do you have any Italian in you?”
Those were her exact words.
I mean, come on.
In baseball, that’s what they call a “meatball” (ahem, speaking of Italians)…a perfect pitch right down the middle of the plate.
Look, I just don’t have it in me to not square up and knock that sucker out of the ballpark, even in front of children.
“Not at the moment.” I countered with a straight face, followed by a We-Make-Sexytime double eyebrow raise in my husband’s general direction (which on me, actually looks more like Groucho Marx having a petit mal.)
“Nice,” The Gatekeeper replied with an undertone of this is why our kids are like this. (He may or may not have been referring to various troublesome behaviors including a child who will not be named allegedly dropping trou on the playground the other day and getting sent to the preschool principal’s office on charges of indecent exposure.)
Don’t worry, my joke went right over the kids’ heads, as I knew it would. They are way more interested in poop and fart talk than they are with the whole P-in-the-V concept…so far. Which is why it came as a big surprise that a few minutes later Mini-Me revealed that she was learning various gynecological terms at school.
“We’re learning SPEC words in spelling.”
“SPEC words? What does that mean?” I asked.
“You know, words with SPEC in them. It’s a Latin root. It means see or look.”
“You’re learning Latin roots in 3rd grade? How cool is that?! You are going to rock your SATs, girl. What are some of the words on your list?”
“Inspect. Respect. Spectacle. Speculum…” she replied.
“Hold up. Did you just say speculum?”
“Speculum is one of your spelling words? In third grade? Are you sure?”
“Yes. Also, perspective, spectator…”
“No. Really. You must be mistaken. There is NO way in Sam Hill that speculum is one of your spelling words. Get me that list.”
Meanwhile, The Gatekeeper and the boys were silently chewing their food, watching our dialogue like a tennis match. Mini-Me got up from the table, rooted through her backpack, and produced this:
Quickly, I scanned the page.
“There’s no speculum on this list, Miss Thang.”
She leaned over to see it again and prove to me that I’m wrong.
Suddenly realizing her mistake, “Oh, I meant to say speculate.”
“Big diff, honey.”
“Well what is a speculum then? And why isn’t it on my list since it starts with SPEC?”
This would have been the ideal moment for me to be circumspect before answering.
“Oh. Well. Okay. A speculum is a special scope that doctors use to look inside your vagina.”
“Don’t worry. Only grown-up women need to have those kind of exams.”
“Like a telescope? That goes into your vagina? And a doctor looks up in there? That is disgusting! Ew! I am never going to let anyone stick anything in my vagina!”
“AMEN sister. Let’s make t-shirts that say that,” I approved.
“Can we please change the conversation?” The Gatekeeper pleaded.
“Da-ji-na.” Bucket Head chimed in, better late than never.
The kids and I all started to giggle, nervously glancing at the head of the table.
“See? See what just happened?” The Gatekeeper admonished.
In retrospect, yes, yes I do. Maybe I need more Italian in me to win him over.