So here is what I have learned recently: "cock" is an incredibly versatile word. The other day I sat on the floor across from my brother-in-law, Lynn, while Elaine stood close with her arms wrapped around my neck, giving him the classic wide-eyed suspicious-toddler stare. Something rumbled by on the street outside. Still with her eyes fixed on him, Elaine exclaimed, "Cock!" "She's talking about the truck outside," I explained. Lynn said, "Oh, would you like to go to the window and see the truck?" Elaine considered. "Big cock," she said finally. "Let's go see the truck!" Lynn offered.
Several times over the weekend, responding to a noise outside that hadn't even registered on Brandon's or my radar, Elaine would thrust out her index finger and say excitedly, "Big big cock!" Stifling our laughter, we'd ask, "Oh, was it a big truck?" "Big
cock," she would affirm. We'd ask her if she wanted to go to the park. "Cock!!" she'd cry happily, running toward the front door. She has a deck of playing cards that we've donated to her -- and which of course are strewn all over the house in various pathetic states of crumpled torment, stuffed under pieces of furniture, stashed in books and boxes of all kinds -- and she occasionally offers one to us. "Cock?" she'll ask sweetly.
Elaine is full of very distinct requests lately. She still chirps "Dis! Dis!" while pointing in every direction (any direction) while you're holding her to indicate that she wants something -- much of the time it's not at all clear what she wants, even to her. But she is no longer easily fooled; if she lunges for your cell phone while you're holding it and you attempt to hide it behind your back, she'll lean around you to look for it. She uses "cupcake" (pronounced "COCK ache," with all of the "k" sounds enunciated very clearly) to describe pretty much any confection she sees on the countertop and wants to sample.
She also, it seems, is starting to use "dah doh" ("sausage") to describe any food she notices that we are trying to eat surreptitiously. This is derived from her understanding of the eating habits surrounding sausage. After the first time one of us made the ill-advised decision to give her a little sample of the veggie sausages we eat every morning, she became OBSESSED. All that salt apparently causes some kind of serotonin rush in her little brain and she's going to spend the rest of her life frantically seeking out a similar high. We used to eat our sausage with forks off plates next to our cereal bowls, like civilized people, but the level of anxiety that was created at the breakfast table by Elaine being able to see but not being allowed to INHALE our veggie sausages was getting every day off to a pretty crappy start, so Brandon and I revised. We now just leave them in the pan, and after we're finished eating our cereal at the table with Elaine, we both sneak them out of the pan with our fingers while we rinse our bowls and more or less hork them over the sink, while trying to prevent Elaine from even catching sight of them because then the fireworks will start. So she is under the impression that any time either of us is seen eating something with our hands while standing up and hiding it behind our backs between bites, it must be a "dah doh." "DAH DOH" she yelled at me yesterday as I sucked down a cookie while standing in the kitchen. "Thall gun," I replied through a stuffed mouthful of crumbs, showing her my empty hands.
Let's just hope that by the time Elaine learns the ropes of appropriate behavior, she won't be stuck with the task of retraining her parents.
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