Lucy (3) and Will (7 months) are playing on the floor. Toys are strewn around them. He is playfully head-butting her as he reaches for a toy.
LUCY: Mommy, look! Will is pecking at me!
ME: I see him. He’s trying to play.
LUCY: Mommy, he’s just a…a...a...LITTLE PECKER!
ME (trying not to laugh): He’s what?
LUCY (happily yelling): A LITTLE PECKER!
LUCY: ‘Cause he’s pecking at me! Like a chicken!
ME: I see, I see…but, Lucy, don’t call your brother a “little pecker.”
LUCY: But why, Mommy?
ME: Well… (stammering) it’s not nice, actually.
LUCY (confused): It’s not? But I was talking about chickens! I like chickens.
ME: Chickens are great. And, you can call Will a “little chicken,” if you like. But “little pecker” has another meaning. To adults mostly. It’s...well, it's just something little girls shouldn’t say.
LUCY: Oh. What does it mean?
ME: I’ll tell you when you’re older.
LUCY: Like when I'm ten?
ME: Hopefully, you'll be even older for THAT talk. Until then, trust me that we won't be talking about chickens.
Lucy and the Little Pecker