Namine is a smart girl. What she doesn’t understand outright – and there isn’t much, her vocabulary is probably in the hojillions – she tends to pick up from context. Before you know it, she’s using words, phrases, and expressions beyond what you’d expect from a three year old. But sometimes she totally misses the mark, like tonight.
I think our water smells kinda funny. So anyway, it’s after Namine’s bath and we’re about to pray together so I can tuck Namine into bed. Namine’s got her hands cupping Jessica’s face – leaning in for a good smooch, I think – and she (Jessica) says, “Did you pee in the bathtub?” Of course not, I said. She gives me the look. (Married guys, you know what I mean. They say there’s no such thing as the look, but we know the truth. We know.) “Not you, goofball. Namine.” And Namine’s got this O of surprise on her face. “No, I dint pee in the baftub!”
I take Namine’s hands in mine and take a big ole whiff. I didn’t smell anything but residual balsamic vinegar, which Jessica had used to make her dessert – vanilla ice cream with strawberries and some crazy concoction of deliciousness that only she could do. So I said to my wife, “I don’t know. Do you smell urine?”
Well, that’s a word Namine doesn’t know. She’s only ever known us to refer to it as “pee,” so how could she? She misheard what I said as “ear in,” so she promptly leaned in toward Jessica’s ear and sniffed loudly. “Ear in? I don’t smell anything!” She leaned toward me. “C’mere, Haha! Let me smell your ear in!”
We tried to explain what we had really said, but Namine didn’t get it. A lesson that will have to wait until another day, I suppose.