Oh, Fish Butts

Do fish have butts?

Cai wanted to know.  Cai’s 4.  Four-year-olds care about stuff like that.

I said no.  Fish don’t have butts.  They have tails.

Cai asked where fish pee and poop from.

I said they have butts.

Cai said he thought I said fish don’t have butts.

I said I changed my mind.  I said that’s a woman’s prerogative.

Cai asked what a waterfish is.

Then I asked Cai what a waterfish is.  It took me a while to figure out he was pronouncing “prerogative.”

Prerogative.  Waterfish.  Same same.

We practiced pronouncing prerogative.



Next Cai asked me to check his leather.

Or he wanted to shuck what’s wetter.

Actually, he wanted me to check the weather.

Cai made me practice pronoucing weather.




I’m getting pretty good at it.

Cai didn’t want to know any more after that.

I can’t blame him.  That was exhausting.

I kind of feel like I should go back and correct the fish butt thing, but I think I lost my teachable moment back there somewhere.

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13 responses to “Oh, Fish Butts”

  1. Here’s another gem! Our little boy Koen (almost 6 years old now) also likes to ponder on the mysteries of (his) life:
    ‘Mama, how come Jesus died before he was old? Well, he was killed by other people. Okay, so did he die before his mama&papa? Yes, I think so. (and I added: if you want to be sure, ask grandma, she knows those stories quite well. I chickened out… again… I really need to work on my Biblical knowledge!) But that’s not how it’s supposed to be! I know honey, but that almost never happens, don’t worry. So are the people that killed Jesus still alive? No, they’ve been dead for a really long time. Oh good, because otherwise they might try to kill Sinterklaas as well! Why do you suppose they’d try to kill Sinterklaas, Koen? Well, they didn’t like Jesus, so I think they wouldn’t like Sinterklaas either, because they can both do magic! Ah, but of course…’ Try beating that logic! 🙂
    This is actually a summary of the conversation, which took place when I was cycling to school with three kids on my bike, headwind, rain, pffff… And I might’ve missed a couple of observations from his side, due to the fact that I was pretty near complete exhaustion halfway through, I really need to start that running program asap 😉

  2. My now five year old used to call fire trucks “fire frucks” and didn’t always get the “r” in there! And underwear was “owonder” for a very long time!

    Thanks for the laughs 🙂

  3. Oh how I love those moments. My (now 8 yr. old) son used to say “Thanked you” instead of “thank you.” It was so precious. Then one day he caught us smirking, and wanted to know why. Now he diligently says, “thank you” but I really am longing for the old pronounciation.

  4. That reminds me of the episode of “Friends” where Phoebe tries to teach Joey French. Phoebe has him repeat after her and it’s NOTHING like what she’s says. Hilarious!

  5. I confess to being a reader and never a poster. Postee. Err. Yes, one who posts.
    I’ve been reading for a while and find myself nodding my head at the screen. (The kids think I’m nuts), laughing out loud, so hard I cry. (My husband thinks I’m nuts), and burning dinner because I lost track of time while making sure to copy and paste the funny parts to my sister in law (She does not think I’m nuts. She has four kids. But my mother thinks we’re both nuts.)
    I want to say thank you for The Absolute Truth About Parenting (And kids too!)

    Now, to add to this speech thing… My son who is now 9.. was once four. Weird, I know. When he was four, he used to have trouble saying fish and corn and a few other words too.
    Fish was pronounced as another word for a female dog. Quite clearly a female dog.
    And corn was pronounced like a dirty adult movie.

    My husband and I are terrible parents. Yes, we used to laugh privately.. and we tried to help. We did. F-u-ish… cuh-ohrn!. Hours and hours of pronunciation. Each syllable clearly. After a particularly hard day of this (okay, fine… it was around 30 minutes) my husband declares to Zak “The fishes are in the corn!”

    Yeah. We’re bad parents. But we laughed. (Fast forward a few years, speech therapy for Zak. Blessing.)

    • SO SO worth posting, Mer! Your comment about the fishes in the corn got picked up by a friend on Facebook, pointing folks back here to check your story out.

      I love bad parents like you and your husband. They’re my favorite kind!


  6. ah yes, 4-year olds pondering the mysteries of life… I kinda miss that since Roos goes to school now, but fortunately there are still some gems to be found before and after school! ‘Mama, when will I be growing hair on my butt? Ehm, what now? Hairs, just like you! Oh, but honey, that’s not my butt is it now? What is it then? Ah, well, ask papa, he’ll know…’ Yes, she caught me by surprise, I still had dry off (just took a shower, hence the ‘hairs on butt-question’ I guess) and ehm, well, I chickened out! Not my proudest moment, no, but since we still haven’t found a term for the female parts (she’s 4!!!) and Mark keeps veto-ing all of my suggestions, I let him take care of this one 🙂 Come to think of it, I haven’t heard anything about it after this, I bet he distracted her with candy! (can’t wait to ask him when he gets home this afternoon 😉 )

    • Awesome story!

      I have a wonderfully good friend whose daughter wanted to know all about the hair on her “bollum” (bottom), too. We still sometimes call it a bollum. Run that one by your husband and see what he thinks.


      • he veto-ed (can you tell I have no idea how to spell that? vetoed? ve-toed? hahaha! 😉 that one as well… sorry! I told him he’d better decide on something soon, otherwise it’s penises and vaginas here too! (well, that sounds a bit weird!)

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