I just finished telling the kids a bed time story about Geo Trax trains and guys (Geo Trax trains and play sets by Fisher Price are Maxfield's favorite toys and I make up stories about the characters based on the DVD and by what Max tells me. Victor and Brutus are always the bad guys in all Geo Trax stories and all of the other trains and guys who make up Team Geo Trax are good guys) when I lifted my head above the top bunk to kiss Max goodnight.
"Dad?" He asked and I could tell he was concerned and had an important question.
"What does this mean? " He asked and he held up his middle finger. Yes, just his middle finger.
Lauren had told me that a few days before, Max was doing some kind of Spiderman web shooting dance. Instead of folding his middle finger into his palm, as Spiderman would do to shoot a web, Max got confused and was flipping the middle finger out while keeping all the other fingers closed. Basically he was dancing around the house flipping the bird. She explained to him that some people may misinterpret the middle finger as a bad gesture. That it was kind of like sign language for a bad word.
"It's just not a very nice thing to do Maxfield."
"Mommy said it means a bad word. What's the bad word?" He asked and he stared at his raised middle finger trying to figure out what it means.
"It is just a mean gesture. It is like teasing but in mean way."
"But what's the bad word?"
"It does not mean any specific word." I told him trying to avoid a long conversation about four letter words. "It means I don't like you very much. It is something you may direct at someone you don't like or who has been mean to you. But I don't want you to ever do that to someone."
He was quiet for a moment and I thought the conversation was going to end there. He put his middle finger down and I kissed him goodnight.
"The next time you tell a Team Geo Trax story, maybe all the Team Geo Trax guys like Sir John and Bruno and Ethan can all surround Brutus and Victor and do this." Maxfield held up both his middle fingers.