Here’s the kind of conversation that my husband and daughter have, apparently, while I’m away:
Emilia: “Daddy, I thought of a good name.”
Kyle: “What’s that?”
Emilia: “Mrs Poopy McFucky Pants.”
According to the email that Kyle sent me relating this story – and believe me, that is a wonderful email to get when you’re hundreds of miles away from your kids, eating room service quesadillas in a New York hotel room and worrying about whether your frequent traveling is having an adverse effect on their upbringing – there was a very long moment of silence. And then another one.
Then he asked her how she thought up that name.
“Oh, I made it up from the voice in my head that says bad things.”
There’s a part of me that wishes that she’d have answered in such a way as to indicate that she didn’t mean to say exactly what she said, that she’d actually just fumbled the pronunciation of ‘McFussy Pants.’ But then there’s the other part of me that is grateful to know for sure that, yes, she did mean to say that and that it did indeed come from ‘the voice in her head that says bad things’ (which voice I also have in my own head, so she comes by it honestly), the better to know that that she understands that the name ‘McFucky Pants’ involves some terminology that is not appropriate for use in polite company, and that that terminology retains its rhetorical force even when integrated into a proper name. And it’s also worth noting that her incorporation of the word ‘fuck’ into a proper name demonstrates, arguably, that she internalized her lessons from last year about the proper and improper uses of that word (and that there are proper uses of that word, I should remind you all, is a lesson that she taught me), and that she is able to properly apply those lessons in casual conversation, while still understanding that her views on the proper uses of the word ‘fuck’ are entirely subjective and should be flagged as such. These, I think, are things to be proud of.
And then, of course, there’s this: ‘Mrs McFucky Pants’ is kind of an awesome name.
I really kind of inclined to say that this is all win. Am I bad mother for thinking so?