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September 30, 2002

A Left to the Chin

A Left to the Chin

We read Puss in Boots for Ngnat's bedtime story tonight. Given my unfortunate chemical makeup (I'm a man), I've always felt that there was something vaguely porno about the title. Aside from the obvious, all it really needs is a consonant switch and you've got the title of a Terence and Phillip movie. For those of you now helplessly confused (Hi Mom), that would be "Bussin' poots", the simple, gentle story of a man and his gas fetish.

But to Ngnat it wasn't "Bussin' poots", or even "Supping Toobs". It was "Shoo kitty." So we read that, instead. About halfway through, with no obvious catalyst that I could see, she suddenly sat up in the bed and turned to face me, her right hand balled up in a fist. She drew up close to mine, widened her eyes so that she was making a face, and, ever so gently, punched me in the nose with the side of her fist. Girl fist though, not a boy fist.

Aside: Having exhaustively searched the web for an illustration of boy first versus girl fist and finding only Shotokan and porn, I find I must explain this myself. It was common knowledge in my elementary school that boys made fists with their thumb across the front of the first, and girls made fists with the thumb at the side of the fists. Various other thumb positions were heavily debated, including thumb under pointer and thumb inside fist, but dismissed as dangerous to the digit. God help the boy who made girl fists.

Certainly it didn't hurt. If anything, it was a caress. If so, it was the weirdest caress I can recall, and I spent a good part of my life dating repressed church girls yearning to break free. Thanks Dusty, I owe you. She popped up another couple of times as I read to her of the adventures of the canny Puss and his dimwit master, looked deep into my eyes, gave her impression of Susan Sarandon being goosed by Pat Buchanan, and tagged me with the world's softest right cross.

It's not the only thing she's picked up. She saw a shark on television earlier tonight, immediately turned away and buried her head in my chest. When and where did she learn to be scared of sharks? How does she even recognize a shark? She's not even three. Every color in the world to her is "wed", "boo" or "lullah", but she recognizes dangerous fish. She also knows the Lord's Prayer, which makes me suspect that the nice ladies at the Baptist daycare she attends put on habits and lead the children in daylong catechism lessons as soon as the parents are all gone.

We spend all of our time worrying about exposing her to different experiences, but we're stunned as soon as she gives us proof that she's been exposed to them. I guess we still expect to be the primary filters through which she sees the world.

So much for that.

Posted by Bigwig at September 30, 2002 10:58 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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