On Definition

Last night, I asked Lucy if her knees were still hurting. At first she said “No.” Then she qualified: “Sometimes when I sit, they are poinky.”

“Poinky?” I asked, “What does that mean.”

“You know, like a puffer fish.”

“No. I don’t know what that means.”

At this point Kathleen chimes in, “Like when someone throws a pineapple at you.” Lucy nods like this is the most obvious thing in the world.

“No!” I finally break, exasperated, “You can’t explain one thing that you have never experienced in terms of something else that you have never experienced and think that you have clarified things!”