Friday, August 10, 2007

What's in a Name?

Summer camp and nicknames go together. I get that. Having said that, I just want to make sure that all of you hapless adults out there who insist on giving yourself camp nicknames know the risk you're taking...

In science camp this week (no, my daughters are really not that geeky - it mostly consisted of learning about mucus and dusting for fingerprints), each of the children got a nickname that had something to do with science in some way, shape or form. The instructors, a sweet high school junior-to-be who loves children and science equally, and a stick-thin antique hippie who looked eighty but was probably actually in her fifties, indulged themselves and chose names for the week as well. The hip student called herself Scientific Cindy (her predecessors were known as Solar Sarah and Jammin' Jen). When pressed for a creative moniker to which the 5-8 year olds would respond, the older woman came up with Dynamic Dinky. Huh.

Last night my youngest came to me, toothbrush tucked into the right side of her mouth and said thoughtfully, "Mom...what's a 'dinky'?" My husband and I exchanged a look.

"Well, usually when people say the word 'dinky' it's another way to say something is small, eensy, little," I wasn't sure this would satisfy her. I was pretty sure I knew where this was going.

"Are you sure it's not this?" she asked, right index finger pointing squarely at her crotch.

"Pmfft," my husband turned away quickly as he choked on his own tonsils.

"What would make you think that was a dinky, sweetie?" I should have been an actress. It's amazing how well I've learned to hide my real reactions.

"This boy at camp. He said a dinky was this," now the finger is jabbing through the air, an exclamation point heading for her crotch.

"Well, I suppose some people might use the word dinky as another way to say penis. I would prefer that you just talk about it as a penis, though, okay?"

"When should I talk about someone's penis?" she inquires innocently. Perhaps she's the one who should be in films. I know her. I'm sure she's screwing with me right now.

"Just brush your teeth."

"Okay."

This morning as I signed the girls into camp for the morning, there was no sign of the older instructor. Scientific Cindy greeted them both warmly and told them they would be making their own slimy cells today. Then, trouble. I heard firm, staccato footsteps coming up the wooden ramp that leads to the door.

"Good morning, Dinky," my youngest calls in her sweetest voice, turning to smile her biggest smile at me. Innocent, my ass.


10 comments:

Scott from Oregon said...

Teehee...

Carrie Wilson Link said...

OK, she is FUNNY! And you are right, choose a name with no sexual connotations, people! C'mon!

Deb said...

Wickedly funny! I can just see her grin and those dancing eyes. I'm thinking Dinky indulged in a bit too much happy grass back when she was young enough to be acting this way. Yikes!

Jerri said...

Hilarious, Kari.

These are obviously your girls: smart, funny, and not afraid to ask the tough questions.

Love them. And you.

Ziji Wangmo said...

too funny -

Eileen said...

How very funny!! What a smart girls you have and what a great sense of humor. You are in for many more years of fun!!! Thanks for making me laugh tonight!! What a great story. XOXO

dgibbs said...

That reminds me of my youngest girl. Too funny! I agree with Deb that Dinky may have had too much Happy Grass way back in the day.

MY OWN WOMAN said...

I'll admit it, I had a good belly laugh at that one.

ammogirl said...

ohhhh...the funny thing is, now I have the added bonus of being able to picture the look on her face and the tone of her voice when she said that.

Those girls of yours...man, did they ever steal my heart.

Philip. said...

We don't have summer camps over her in the UK. They sound like gret places!

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