"Mom," The Rock Star said from the backseat, "what's a wiener?"
I waited a good five seconds before responding. I thought about asking him to use it in context but then I would have had to explain context. Instead, I asked him to use in a sentence.
He raised his voice. "WHAT'S A WIENER?"
And I began to giggle, somewhat hysterically. He's smart, that one. I could just hear his internal monologue, That is a sentence!
"Okay. Well, it depends on how you're using it. There are different kinds of wieners." At this point I was speaking intermittently, whenever I stopped choking on my own laughter. "There are wiener dogs. Those are the ones that have long bodies and really short legs. They're called that because they look like a hot dog. Hot dogs used to be called wieners all the time. Sometimes they're still called wieners."
"Oh," he said. "So a wiener is a hot dog?"
"Yes," I declared. Then I asked, "Did you hear someone say the word wiener?"
"My friend Bob*," Garrett replied. Bob is seven. He lives up the street.
"What was he talking about?" I asked. A hot dog. Make it be about a hot dog. I thought.
"The spot right here." He pointed.
I sighed. And then I got to explain that different people use different words for their private places. In our family, we call them by their medical terms. We always have. We always will. Because I don't want my kid walking in to the doctor's office and saying something about his wiener.
*His name isn't really Bob. If that wasn't already clear. Names have been changed to protect, in this case, the not so innocent.