Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Education Of Eli 9.9

A few weeks ago, Eli was talking to me about the planets.

"Dad, it's not pronounced like that," Eli 9.9.

"It's not?" I asked.

"It's 'yer-a-nus'," he said.

"Are you sure it's not 'your anus'?" I asked.

"Dad," he said wearily. "I'm sure it's not 'your anus'." He paused. "OH," he said. "YOUR ANUS." After a few seconds of trying to stay upright, he fell on the floor, laughing.

For education, it's always best to start with the classics.

So "your anus" has fallen in line with other classic bits, with the current favorite being "If you love it so much, why don't you just marry it?", which all three of us seem to say at least once daily.

On Wednesday, we were sitting in Einstein's after school. They have a "happy hour" deal now where if you buy any drink, you get a free dessert. Since Eli loves the iced sugar cookies there, it's a guaranteed stop now.

He looked at me between bites.

"Dad, are Martians from Mars?" he asked.

"Sure," I said. "If there were actually people living on Mars, they would be called 'Martians'."

"Would people living on Jupiter be called 'Jupiterians'?" he asked.

"I don't think so," I said, "although people living on Venus would be called 'Venusians.' And people on Pluto would be called 'Plutonians'."

"Then 'Martians' isn't consistent, is it?" he asked.

"No," I said. "It seems to vary quite a lot between planets, and I don't even know what the right term is for some planets."

"What about Uranus?" As soon as he said it, he started laughing. Of course he pronounced it your-anus. Sure, it's wrong, but for comic purposes, there's absolutely no going back.

"Good example," I said. "I don't know--would it be 'Uranasians'?" His eyes got big.

"NO!" he said. "It would be--URINATIONS!" We both collapsed in five-year-old boy giggles.

"That is 'A' material, my friend," I said.

"Can you imagine what the President would say?" he asked, readying his most official voice. "Hello, my fellow Urinations."

"Where would the train stop on Uranus?" I asked.

He laughed again. "That's kinda personal," he said. He thought for a few seconds, then looked up at me.

"Urination Station!" I said.

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