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We got our ‘staches on for Mustache Day (!?) at the twins’ elementary school. Cory wanted her pink one on immediately. All the cajoling it took to get Fisher to don his (“it is going to hurt when you peel it off, Daddy!”) made us late. We made quite an entrance. Apparently, none of the other parents had to put one on themselves to get their kid to participate.

(The only reason that we knew it was Mustache Day is the promise that Cory’s teacher made to her that she would email us. When Cory heard that the back up for those kids without stick-ons was to use eyeliner to draw one on, she was worried that her two dads wouldn’t have eyeliner and she wouldn’t get a mustache. Mrs. Powell kept her promise, and we got the word in time to stock up on ‘staches.)


Exasperated with a Cheerio that falls on the wrong side of her bowl, Cory exclaims, “Puta!” Daddy and Emma catch eyes, silently agreeing to ignore it. Several minutes later, as she plays with the same cheeky Cheerio, Cory aarghs: “Puta!” She looks up with a sly smile and expectation in her face. Daddy and Emma catch eyes, agreeing to address it. A “that’s not a nice word” conversation ensues.Later that day, when Cory uses the word again, with impeccable placement and a pitch-perfect cursing tone, Daddy sits her down and explains (again) that there are some words that are not nice, that she shouldn’t use, and that hurt other people’s feelings. Daddy tells her that she should be creative and make up a word that she can use in its place. She smiles. A few minutes later, faux-exasperated with a stray Lego, she picks it back up, introduces “Pusaca!” and turns to see how Daddy likes it. Daddy smiles.

She occasionally whips out “pusaca” over the next year or so, but eventually it falls out of the weekly lexicon…

Year or two later, one morning before kindergarten, she is asking whether Daddy knows Ben, Sebastian, Nicholas, Cameron, from after-care. Then, out of nowhere…

C: Dana said that bad word.
D: Who’s Dana?
C: Dana, Maria’s sister. She said that bad word.
D: What bad word?
C: That bad word that you are not susposed to say. I don’t want to say it.
D (leaning down): Whisper it in my ear.
C (leaning up, whispering): Putin.

Knowing that Dana’s and Maria’s parents come from that part of the world, Daddy smiles and explains the difference between the president of Russia and “that bad word.”

C: So, I can say “Putin” but not…
D: That bad word. Right. People don’t like that word.


C (looking at Daddy for effect): Pusaca!


D: Yah, don’t say that bad word. You can say “Putin,” but not that bad word.
C (smiling): Okay.

The playground is going to see some confused cursing today.