Monday, October 06, 2008


'Dad, can you help me with my homework? We've got to pick a planet, learn something about it and then do a talk to the whole class.'

'Okay. What planet do you think you'd like to do?'


' about Saturn or Jupiter?'

'No, I definitely want to do Uranus.'


'I just want to.'

'But it's a very boring planet. Not as boring as Mercury, but there are more exciting ones you could choose.'

'No! I want to do Uranus!'

Sigh. 'Okay, we'll do it. But there's just one thing. It's pronounced Uranus.'

'No it isn't. It's Uranus and that's how I'm going to say it.'

At this point I patiently explained that since Voyager 2 visited Uranus in 1986, the pronunciation of the name has been a matter of contention because...well...

I was tempted to stop there, but the image of my son being laughed at for his unwitting double entendre was too awful.

'Anus is another word for bottom hole, so you see, if you said Uranus, it would sound like...'

'Hey! I'm going to tell everyone in the class that my dad says Uranus is Planet Butthole! Ha ha! Brilliant!'

The talk is on Friday. I'm not looking forward to the next parents' evening.


John Self said...

Kids can be so persistent. My sister-in-law has recently had her fourth child (I know, I know). Her middle son, who is five years old, took a great interest during the pregnancy in how the baby would get out of mummy's tummy.

Distraction worked only for a short time, so eventually she bought a book for teaching children about the reproductive process and showed him the illustration of where baby emerges.

Son then, logically enough, decided to name this aperture the "leg-hole." When he and his brothers visited her in hospital after birth of their baby sister, he was concerned to know: "Mummy, is your leg-hole sore?"

History does not record her response, though it was probably along the lines of, "Nothing a few stitches won't cure, son."

The Poet Laura-eate said...

How very plebian of him. Though I suppose he is obliged to garner 'brownie' points as it were toward his street cred in any which way he can these days!

Steerforth said...

Out of the mouths of babes...

One of my favourite anecdotes concerns a friend's five-year old brother. One day he was looking at the 'top shelf' in a newsagents and at in a loud voice, announced: 'Mummy, my willy hurts!'

Laura - you're quite right. My son's street cred will probably go up a few points, whilst my reputation as a parent will reach an all-time low.

Gonçalo Veiga said...