As a little girl growing up, my Jamaican grandmother, Nana, used to remind us constantly about not doing something that would give us Tooksie*.
“Don’t walk barefoot outside, you might get Tooksie!”
“Don’t drink from that cup without washing it first, you might get Tooksie!”
“Don’t go to bed without washing your feet, you might get Tooksie in the bed!”
“Don’t sit on a public toilet seat without putting toilet paper down first, you might get Tooksie!”
“Herbert, wash the childrens hands before they get Tooksie!”
Tooksie was Nana’s word for germs. It must have been an old Jamaican saying. Never have I heard this word used before or since. Yet it resonates deep within me anytime the subject of hygiene is raised. I loved Nana dearly. Papa too. Funny. I do not think I ever heard Papa use that word in his vocabulary. No matter how many fond memories I have of Nana, I cannot ignore the fact that she perpetuated a ‘slight’ OCD compulsion in me.
Now that I am a grownup, I look back and think of Nana with such adoration: neurosis and all. I cannot help but smile when I think about Tooksie.
Nana was also the first person to make dresses for my baby dolls and to introduce me to sewing.
So please, remember when your loopylocks doll is being loved, try not to let her drop on the ground too much, or she just might get Tooksie!
If your loopylocks should get Tooksie, please remove her dress and gently wash her in cold water and lay her on a flat surface to dry. That should cure her of Tooksie for sure!
* I never learned whether Tooksie was spelled “tooksie” or “tooksy”. But I think you get the general idea. If you are wondering what the cure for Tooskie was? In a word: Dettol.