What a curious experience it was to hear these words come out of the mouth of my nine-year old daughter.
I was off on a rant about someone who had, in my opinion, done something wrong, badly wrong. I unleashed some invective not caring who was able to hear. This tirade ended with me calling the person in question a bit of an arsehole, although I may have used other qualifying expressions.
That was when I heard a quiet voice say, I’m pretty sure that’s called an anus sphinctum.
I turned to her incredulous, what did you say? I wasn’t angry, I was just surprised. I was also laughing. Hearing the body part in question correctly identified, albeit incorrectly pronounced, by a young child immediately made me forget the cause of the rant. In addition, any mention of the word anal, even a close approximation, is very funny in itself. Seeing the look on my face and immediately thinking I was laughing at her, she said it again, very seriously.
How do you know that, I asked through my insuppressible hilarity. We’ve been learning about the digestive system at school, she replied, and that’s what we were told. The thought of an adult person having to say anal sphincter to a class of kids only served to deepen the bizarre nature of the moment and cause fresh waves of mirth.
As my children were until recently home schooled, I am not used to them having random outside influences, and I had no way of knowing that my daughter could know such expressions. She is in year five, I think, and in my mind they spend most of their time at school playing with soft toys and doing finger painting. Apparently this is not the case.
The mispronunciation was cleared up, I never miss a chance to educate, and the conversation moved onto the finer points of language ie why do the Americans leave the R out of arsehole, answer, because they ruin everything they touch for no really good reason, reference the Trump cretin, film remakes/reboots too numerous to itemise, invasions/regime changes to satisfy vested interests, and then onto other topics.
Kids come along and destroy your life, remove any sense of self and any free time you used to enjoy, but moments like this almost make them worthwhile.