Tuesday, March 5, 2013

On being a potty mouth



Addison has been aware of the difference between boys and girls for quite some time now. And almost 100% of the time, we're glad that we taught her accurate words for body parts. In addition to the fact that most euphemisms sound really silly, we liked the idea that it could be protective tool for her to be able to express ownership over her body, and to reliably communicate in the event that (heaven forbid) she ever ended up in an abusive situation.

However, when kids become comfortable talking about bodies you gotta accept that you're gonna end up in situations like this one, which I wrote about on my Facebook Page:


I'm sure there's something Freudian to say about the way even children observe the world and find phalli (yes, phalli is in fact the plural form. I looked it up) in unexpected places. But I don't have anything more to say about that. Just this one further story:

At church two weeks ago, there was a certain respected, high-ranking official who walked into the bathroom just as I was bringing my three-year-old in to use the potty. He walked over to the urinal as I ushered my daughter into a stall.


We finished up and got out as fast as we could, never making eye contact with the other dude. For better or worse, I have a (literally) potty-mouthed kid. My wife says it's just as bad when she goes to the women's restroom; the kid narrates every sound in the place. Probably our next lesson needs to be about judging people silently, as the rest of us do. In that most vulnerable of places, the restroom, you can think all you want, but you keep your mouth shut. Imagine sitting in a stall doing your business, only to hear a tiny voice giggling in the next stall over, "I heared a toot! Someone is doing a poopie! They need to wash their hands!" Hope you don't have performance anxiety.

9 comments:

  1. My oldest will be 3 in a couple of weeks and it is always a narrated event to go to a public restroom with her.... I totally relate to this! Once, it did come in handy though, there were only two stalls and they were both occupied, by a couple of older women who were obviously friends and they were talking to each other when we walked in. My daughter said, quite loudly, "I need to pee Mommy". I let her know (quietly) that I knew she did, but that we'd have to wait our turn. One of the ladies started to pee and my daughter exclaimed "Mommy, she's going pee-pee, so we get to go soon, right?". I said (quietly again), that yes, we would get our turn. The lady, luckily, came out, smiled and said that it was our turn and thanked my daughter for waiting. Glad she was an understanding lady!

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    1. It's always nice to have a kid who you can use to spur other people along. I'm trying to train her to just repeat what I say without saying first, "daddy told me to say..."

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  2. That's so cute. I love this age so much. I also love you are teaching her the correct names for body parts. The worst euphemism I ever heard for vagina was front bum-bum.

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    1. I'm glad you approve, Em...it offers some consolation during the embarrassing moments to know that others approve. The other day at the park, she was giving me grief and I went to pick her up. I must have grabbed her diaper funny because she SHOUTED, indignantly, "You MESSED UP my vagina!" I'm pretty sure people from the nearby apartments looked out their windows. Somehow it seemed less stark when she still called it a "gyna."

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  3. My son has started narrating. Last night it was pretty awesome - he announced that he had to pee, so we went to the Panera men's room (though he tried to go into the women's room because, well, that's typically the door he goes through). And we peed in the urinal (his favorite) and then left. But he looked at me, as a group of teenage girls were going gaga over his curls, and announced that he had to go back and poop.

    So we went back to poop. But there was only one stall and someone was in there. So the guy leaves and CJ announces "he just poop in here?"

    Then, as he's on the potty, someone came in to use the urinal, and he actually climbed off the toilet, and under the stall to see what the person was doing. THEN, that same person started a phone call while in the bathroom (I KNOW!) and CJ was just all confused about who he was talking to.

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    1. My daughter eyes urinals like they're the holy grail. Sorry kid, I'm not gonna deal with that kind of circus. And I hear people talking from inside stalls from time to time. I just always assumed they were crazy, but cell phones makes stupid sense.

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    2. We went in a "family bathroom" yesterday and she almost tried to convince me that YOU let HER use the urinal. "But daddy..." You've pulled some crazy stunts, but I'm glad that this one is beyond you.

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    3. She ASKS every time. I always say no.

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