My mother had her own way of describing our anatomy when we were little. Eyes were peepers. If they were dark eyes, especially if they were on children, she'd refer to them as "shoebutton eyes"--even though I'm sure she had never had to button up her shoes any more than we had.
Our ears were always "shell pink ears," which I imagine is some
literary allusion. She would whisper her best secrets into our shell pink ears.
There was a certain place she liked to kiss which would make
us giggle. She called it our "gubby." I'm not sure why. I asked Tim and
Ted whether the gubby is the back of the neck or the base of it. The
base of the neck makes more sense to me but I'm pretty sure it was the
Tim says it's the side: "She'd nuzzle
you in the piece of neck between your cheek and your shoulder from
behind and you'd oonch around with your jaw and your inner shoulder and
sort of pretend resistance, it's not just anatomical, it's a whole
behavior, like Peekaboo. I bet Mbuti have gubbies."
When we choked while eating, instead of saying we had swallowed
something "the wrong way," she'd say it "went down our Sunday throat." I
don't remember what she said if we choked on Sunday.
Our hearts had cockles which could warmed or pleased.
Hands were "hannypankers." It took Jerry to break it to me that that
word isn't German. I always thought it was. When she wanted us to spread
our fingers, maybe so she could wash the jam off them, she would tell
us to "make starfish."
Then of course the elbow was our "funny bone" and our littlest fingers were our pinkies.
The parts of our anatomy all came into play when she gave us a bath.
She had us close our peepers while she washed our shell pink ears, had
us make starfish so she could scrub our pinkies and when she had
scrubbed us all over she said we were wearing our "soapy suit."
When we were all clean she would reward us with a kiss in our gubby.
Today I am thankful for the 45 years I had with my mother. She left this life on February 11, 1990. She would have been 96 this year.