Anne LOVES her puppy, Nash. LOVES. HIM. She snuggles him and pets him and talks baby to him. A while ago, she was sprawled across him, scratching his ears, and crooning, "I love my Nashy. He's my Cutie Puppy. My Cutsy Cutie Puppy. My Coochy Cutie Puppy. Coochy puppy. Coochy. Coochy." and just like that, Nash had a new nickname, Coochy.
Anne is usually chattering away and I've gotten really good at tuning her out. She was rambling on the other day about how great her dog was and how much she loved him when Will snorted to hide a laugh. I tuned in to Anne's chatter box, "I love to pet my Coochy." My Coochy is so soft." I leaned in and whispered to Will, "Should we tell her?" "Who cares?" Will responded, so we let it go thinking that she would wake up the next day and forget her new term of endearment for Nash, but not Anne. This phase went on and on and on. Every morning she'd greet Nash with a huge hug and, "MY COOCHY!!!!" We let this "phase" go on forever, at least until she went to friend's house and told her friend's parents all about her soft furry coochy. Time for this phase to end. I figured the next time the subject came up, I would just nonchalantly tell her what that word means and we would just move on.
The perfect opportunity came as we were driving to the store. Anne said she couldn't wait to get home to see her coochy. The car is a great place for meaningful, heartfelt conversations like this. The kids are strapped into their seats. They can't go anywhere. There is very little to distract them. It was perfect. I was nonchalant. I was calm. I was matter-of-fact. "Anne, do you know something funny. Some people don't like to say the word vagina so they call a vagina a coochy." There. I did it. It was out of my mouth. I didn't make a big deal out of it. We could move right along. Right? Who am I fooling?
Elizabeth mulled it over as we got out of the car and started walking into Target and then she started talking....LOUDLY. "Why would anyone call their vagina a coochy?!?!?!?!?!? What's wrong with the word VAGINA????? It's just like the word nose. If you say NOSE, you can say VAGINA." People were looking. This is when I realized that I am part of the problem. "Yep," I said aloud, "it's silly" but I was hunkering down and almost running with the cart. By the time we got into the store and started shopping, Elizabeth had processed it all and Anne thought it was all good fun. Anne went on and on and how much she missed her Coochy. Every time she would say Coochy, Elizabeth would remind her what it meant and then tell her not to say it. It took Elizabeth two full aisles of correcting Anne before she resigned herself to the fact that Anne is Anne and just doesn't comply. It took Anne one more aisle to realize that no one cared that she was saying Coochy anymore. It took me a few glasses of wine to get over that shopping trip.