Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kellan's Favorite Word

I raised my kids in the liberal faith, and have since stood largely aside to see what happens.  Erik was easy and predictable – he went in the Army and bought a Corvette.  Kristin, however, who is my favorite and only daughter, grew up to marry a Methodist and to consort with lots of Methodist people, mostly, but not exclusively, on Sunday.  Her spouse is one of the head Methodists, but has overcome this defect in his upbringing and now makes a living by teaching music to impressionable youth.  In fact, he is pursuing an advanced degree in waving a stick at small children.

Anyway, in the midst of all this Methodism and such, Kris and Scott have managed to clone off two children who are like grandchildren to me.  I will call them Kathryn and Kellan, which is what everyone else calls them.

I personally was raised in a sort of Yankee-Puritan-Catholic tradition, which means we laughed at fart jokes but generally did not repeat them in the company of adults.  Kathryn and Kellan, alas, know no such boundaries.  So not only do they look at me askance when asked to pull my finger, they revel in the freedom to say “fart” pretty much at will.  Kellan, the younger at five-nearly-six does so with reckless abandon.  Discussions with Kellan are generally frank.

That brings me to the topic of this essay, which is Kellan’s penis.

Didn’t see that coming, did you?

Lodged at the intersection of liberalism and Methodism lies the art of calling things by their proper names, and Kellan, who always got on famously with his favorite organ, as all five-nearly-six year-olds do, learned early that “penis" is a proper noun.  And he just as quickly discovered that not everyone agrees with that assessment.  Kellan uses the word as a sort of psychological probe to learn, first of all, who’s paying attention, and second, who has the right stuff and who does not.  He gauges people by the depth of the resulting jaw drop.  We, as a family, are hoping that he outgrows this, but there are no certainties in life. 

No one on either the Methodist side of the family or on the liberal-Puritan-Yankee-usedtobeCatholic side would ever express dismay out loud when Kellan expresses his admiration for his penis, but there is undeniably some chemistry or instinct or maybe just lizard-brain fear that breaks free when this gorgeously innocent little blond tyke speaks the magic word in a group that includes strangers.   Folks, the word has undeniable power, and Kellan understands that power like Tiger Woods understands his, um, putter.  Following a recent and unfortunate pants-dampening incident, for instance, Kellan was heard to exclaim, "I couldn't control my penis."  Come to think of it, that pretty aptly describes Tiger's issue as well.

I am going to launch a campaign to teach Kellan that he can get an even greater response from the ladies in the church if he follows in the Robin Williams tradition from now on and refers to his penis as “Mr. Happy.”   I don’t know if the Methodists have made excommunication a sacrament like the Catholics, but I’m looking to find out.

In the meantime, should you encounter my grandson, steel yourself.  At some point the conversation WILL become anatomical, and the unprepared or faint of heart may experience momentary appallment and jaw dislocation.



  1. A comment from old friend Giff in Connecticut:

    Sounds to me like Kellan may be a chip off the old block or "apples don't fall far from the tree". Will he become a "pecker-pullin' publicist" do you suppose?

    So Eric has a Corvette eh? Hope he doesn't do himself harm in the thing. Is he home now or does he have more time over there?


    Well, glad to see that the blog is still well and keep it up, I enjoy it.


  2. Hi Giff

    Erik ordered the Corvette before flying back to complete his tour, and he will receive it in August when he returns. I can't figure out how to insert a picture here, so will include in a separate blog entry.