Six year-old concern resulting from grade one experiences.
The Swearing Toe by Michael Raymond 2007
Saturday morning. The little fellow is going down the stairs on his bum, like his mommy taught him. You can’t easily fall off of your bum, you know. At six years old you accept such reasoning without a doubt.
I’m following behind. He is taking it slowly this morning.
“Did you have a good sleep?” I ask. He doesn’t remember because he was asleep.
Then he stops, staring at his bare feet.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“Dad”, says he. It’s always Dad, never Daddy with Daniel. That’s OK, because he is always Dan-Dan to me.
“Dad, which one is the swearing toe?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I need to know which is the swearing toe!” He says with emphasis.
“Well,” I ponder out loud. “I don’t think there is a swearing toe. Why?”
Now Dan-Dan is getting upset, tears in his eyes. In a tone of exasperation he explains. “We are not allowed to stick up this finger in school. I don’t want to get in trouble!”
I try not to laugh. He gets very upset if it seems I am making fun of him.
“I don’t think there is a swearing toe…because we wear socks and shoes all the time.” This seems reasonable to me.
“What about in Africa?” He asks wisely.
“Well, we’re not in Africa” I reply. “But if we go, we will probably keep our shoes and socks on there too.”
This sounds very reasonable to me, but my son isn’t convinced.
“What about at the beach?” he asks. He has a point.
“Well son”, after a pause, “I think if we keep our toes all pointed straight ahead we will be all right.”
He accepts this and we continue down to breakfast, one step at a time.