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Things my neighbors wish they didn’t overhear

Posted Aug 08 2007 12:00am

Scene: Takes place between the backyard and living room.

Time: A day after bringing home the traffic-playing stray dog we named Ellie.

I stood by the open living room window and watched Jay rumble around with the new puppy on the lawn. Jay looked up, saw me and said, “Mom, we made a mistake. Ellie is a boy.”

I shook my head and replied through the window screen, “No, Ellie is a girl.”

“No she’s not.” He rebutted me and then questioned my doggie sex-identifying skills. “Well how do you know?”

“Because I looked.” Duh.

Jay grabbed Ellie. He lifted her up so her back paws touch the grass and her front ones waved up high by his head. Her furry belly and, apparently, proof she was a boy faced me. In a voice that sounded like it was meant for a courtroom proclamation Jay said, “Well what do you call this?” He pointed to the fuzzy lump spot that made up Ellie’s crotch.

I chuckled and then with my own booming voice said, “Why Jay that is a vagina.”

He quickly inspected the furry spot and looked back at me. He still didn’t believe me.

“Jay, tell me what do you see on the other two dogs?”

He looked over to where Cosmo and Darwin were strutting about. What made them males and what Ellie was missing became visibly apparent. Jay blushed and said in a clipped voice, “Oh.”

I nodded. Writing and parenting beyond the norm.
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