‘Mum smells like poo!’
‘What? What did you just say I smell like?’ I asked aghast at my son’s disrespectful words. Now, I’m getting on in years and my hearing has never been anywhere close to ‘good’, also, I love to think of people in the best of terms, so my first instinct is to query such negative statements. When I heard the comment my son made to his sister I couldn’t help but interrupt.
‘No, Mum,’ my daughter rushed to her brother’s defence. ‘He said “Mum’s eyes are like poo!”‘ Slightly stunned that my daughter actually considered this better than what I thought I’d heard I was silent for almost ten seconds while I considered how best to instruct my children on inappropriate comments, especially when it concerned their mother. I would like to say I was calm and approached the situation with a sensible attitude. But I was more, uh, emotive.
‘You think what? I can’t believe you said that. Do you really think my eyes look like poo?’
‘No! No! No, Mum. I said you eyes look like a poo!’ My son was a little distraught but I couldn’t see it beyond my own miserable thoughts.
So he considered the singular an okay description as opposed to general poo. I wondered if he referred to a specific poo, maybe one he’d seen in the science museum, or even coprolite which would mean I was ancient and disgusting. But, emotion was still reigned supreme in my thick skull. I couldn’t shake off the feminine vanity that insisted on being appeased.
‘What poo? How can you say my eyes look like a poo?’
‘No, Mum! I didn’t say they look like a poo. I said they look like A POO,’ he was nearly shouting now. ‘You know, as in the Simpsons? The guy who runs the Kwiki-Mart? APU?’
Now, reader, had he originally said like Apu‘s then do you not agree that this confusion would never have arisen. I ought to have given them a lecture on grammar and used this example, but I was so glad my eyes don’t look like poo all I could do was laugh, and smile, and thank them. So glad was I that it never once crossed my mind to wonder what Apu’s eyes look like – I hope he isn’t cross-eyed.
PS I was going to add a picture of a poo, but it made me feel a little sick.