December 22, 2010

Making Ocks in the Fort

When I was a lad, back in my pre-potty training phase--right around last week--I adopted the curious practice of sequestering myself in enclosed or otherwise secluded locations, where I would then grunt furiously and proceed to fill my diaper.

My parents referred to this process as "making ocks in my fort." I never learned the etymology of the word "ock," but in retrospect I'm guessing it represented the grunting noise I made whilst sequestered in the aforementioned "forts."

My choice of fort varied, but if my parents noticed me stacking couch cushions in such a way as to eventually serve as "walls," they knew it would only be a matter of minutes before a certain signature smell would waft to their noses like Indian smoke signals.

My forts were also seasonal. When the hydrangea bush in the front yard had adequate foliage come spring, I was comfortable sneaking behind its protection, where I'd then commence intense grunting.

About a month or two ago, my wife and I noticed our infant/toddler--or toddfant--had begun to exhibit the same "ocks in his fort" behavior I'd perfected over thirty years ago. He just started disappearing, and then reappearing a few minutes later, trailing a hot odor requiring immediate attention.

Of course, there have been some advances in "ocks in the fort" technology since I practiced the art some three decades ago. For example, my parents bought their grandson a "Thomas the Tank Engine" collapsible play house for Christmas, and our boy immediately started using the structure as a sort of Port-O-Potty. We set it up, he crawled inside, and we could almost see plumes of train engine "smoke" radiating towards our olfactory nerves.

The train engine fort concerns me somewhat, because I fear it impedes the kind of imagination I called upon in my day to build my own forts. Who knows? We could be crushing a bright future as an architect or carpenter by giving him a ready-made fort, rather than allowing him to explore his own "ock fort" creative process.

Then again, it's kind of nice not to have to put all the couch cushions back in place after every one of the boy's bowel movements because, man, that would be a lot of work.

Posted by Ryan at December 22, 2010 11:12 AM | TrackBack
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