I drove the family to see my sister this weekend. Daisy, from the backseat, informed me and Hank that she had been making the kids in her class crack up recently. Given my recent experience with stand-up comedy, I was curious to here what passed for top-notch humor among the 10 year-old set.
Daisy: Oh, it's hilarious. The boys FREAK out!
Me: Yeah? What do you say?
Daisy: I've been telling them that I want to eat them!
Me: You... tell... the... boys... that... you... want... to... eat... them?
Daisy: It's sooo funny! I tell them that I want to eat them in a special place! Eat them like a roast beef sandwich!
Me: Like... a.... roast... beef... sandwich...
Daisy: They freak out! It's hilarious!
Modern educational literature refers to times like these as "teachable moments". Obviously I needed to say something.
For the record, although Daisy is 10 years-old, she's a very young 10. She's a smart kid, but when it comes to world savvy, she's about 7. When she refers to eating her fellow classmates in a special place like a roast beef sandwich, you can be pretty sure that she is imagining actually eating a roast beef hilariously made out of classmates and NOT referring to oral sex, although she may be the only person in the room thinking that way.
I contemplated this situation for a while afterwards and eventually realized it required action. I acted.
Me: So, how about Daisy telling her classmates that she wants to eat them in a special place?
Hank: Oh my god! OH MY GOD!
Me: We need to address this situation.
Hank: Yes, you're right. We do.
Me: You realize that when I say "we", I mean "you". YOU need to address this. I'm not explaining the many layers of sexuality to her that need to be discussed here.
Hank: Ok, ok. I guess I should handle this.
And that, my friends, is how parenting is done.
I told this story to a friend this evening. She stared at me for a moment and said, "Don't ever let Hank get away because you will fuck that kid up by yourself."