When you've got little kids, spelling things out can be a valuable tool. You can talk about stuff in front of them without them having any idea what you're saying. For example, when you're discussing whether it's too H-O-T for a trip to the P-L-A-Y-G-R-O-U-N-D. Or whether they've eaten enough dinner to merit some I-C-E C-R-E-A-M. Curtis and I spell things out in front of our kids on an almost-daily basis.
So last night (which happened to be Colin's fifth birthday - aww!), Colin and I were sitting in the living room watching some TV. Curtis had been in the bathroom for a while, and when he came out, I said, "Honey? Will you please bring me a drink when you come in here?" He obliged with a glass of soda and joined us on the couch.
I raised the glass to my unsuspecting lips and was immediately inundated with a smell that wasn't coming from my Pepsi. It was an aroma that - let's face it - any woman who's ever a.) done a man's laundry or b.) been spontaneously intimate with a man is familiar with. That musky, not-so-fresh odor which indicated that Curtis had clearly not washed his hands after his restroom trip. Y'all picking up what I'm laying down?
Over the rim of my glass, I narrowed my eyes at my husband. "Um, Sweetheart?" I said. "This glass smells like -"
And then I caught myself. Colin was sitting between us, and at the rate he's been reading lately, he picks up on a lot of the simple words. If he can read The Cat in the Hat in its entirety, he would probably be able to decipher what "This glass smells like B-A-L-L-S" meant.
So I said, "This glass smells like T-E-S-T-I-C-L-E-S."
Instantly, before Curtis could even answer, Colin burst out with, "Testicles?!" and began to laugh hysterically.
Yeah. Turns out I had grossly underestimated the spelling abilities of my brand-new five-year-old, who I thought might be able to figure out how to spell "balls." I thought I was playing it safe with the whole "testicles" thing. But apparently I was dead wrong. And now I'm actually kinda sad: if he can spell testicles, he can probably spell damn near anything, and our parental "secret code" will have to be put to rest.
Ah, well. It was useful while it L-A-S-T-E-D.