What is it about boys and potty talk? Is there something on the Y chromosome that programs them with an affinity for all things gross, nasty, and inappropriate? Take my 8-year-old. No matter how many times he gets in trouble for his potty mouth, he insists on telling me inappropriate jokes. It just doesn’t seem to register that I don’t think they’re funny.
It’s kind of embarrassing when we’re around people who have all girls. I can tell they think I sit around drinking beer and belching while teaching my boys potty jokes. They don’t understand that boys would talk about bodily functions even if they had to make up their own words. It’s just gonna happen.
But I have to confess that, when I think about the parenting moments that made me laugh until I almost peed my pants (See? There I go!), they all revolve around potty incidents. Like the time #2 was going bare bottomed (to help him remember he wasn’t wearing a diaper and needed to go to the bathroom) and I heard him yell in that tone that makes you drop everything and run, “Mommmmmyyyy!”. I got there as fast as I could, only to see him holding his…uhm…business…and looking at it in horror.
Me: “What’s wrong?”
#2: “It’s broken!”
Me: “What do you mean, it’s broken?”
#2: “It’s got a hole in it!”
I think I made it out of the room without losing it.
And then there’s the time #2 was trying to help me potty train #3 (my only girl):
#2: “All you have to do is sit down, push your pee pee down, and go.”
#3: “My not have a pee pee.”
#2, after a moment of contemplating life without a pee pee: “Then just push your nothin’ down.”
My most embarrassing parenting moment revolves around potty stuff, too. #2 was having trouble, well, going #2. So we were giving him daily suppositories to urge things along. We were in Target, and I was fussing at him for something (I don’t remember what). His top-of-his-lungs response – and you have to realize that #2’s whisper can be heard a mile away – “Mommy, if my good, will you pwease not put jewwy in my bottom?”. I. Almost. Died.
I have to confess that I will use this proclivity to my advantage. If they’re having trouble with a spelling word, and I can find a naughty word hidden inside it….done. Like “embarrASS”. They’ll never forget it again. And I’ve always taught my kids mnemonics to help them remember questions they’re struggling with; if I can come up with a mnemonic with a potty angle, it really seals the deal. A guaranteed A+.
I don’t know what the deal is with bodily functions, potty talk, and the boys who love them. But I do know it’s contagious. For all of you girl moms who think we’re teaching it to our boys, it’s actually the other way around. They come pre-packaged with fully developed potty humor. The parents either catch it from the boys or make a practical choice to use it strategically, like I do. At least that’s what I tell people. Believe me?