Weenie Barfy Poopie Butt

What is it with 7-year-old boys and their constant fascination with all language scatological and vaguely forbidden?

When our son was 3 or 4, it worked well enough to curb the poop talk by making him go to the bathroom whenever he talked potty talk. Not that he needed to use the bathroom, but he had to go sit there – then he could say all the potty words he wanted. Poopy, pee-pee, doo-doo, ka-ka, whatever. Knock yourself out, kiddo! Sure, these words aren’t on the FCC’s banned list, but we’ve got to have some sense of what’s unacceptable conversation.

I realize that forbidding something makes it more attractive, but no crude talk at mealtime seems reasonable.

But what about here and there around the house? Or playing outside in the yard? Or when his friends are around? Or now that he’s 7?

Why does it annoy me when he says “I smacked myself in the booty?” It’s not totally disrespectful, but it’s crass. Plus, a neighbor kid, who’s not my favorite, says it a lot. Same thing with butt, which seems a couple notches ruder.

I tell him to use other, more creative words. Then I list some. Toosh. Tooshie. Behind. Bottom. Fanny. Derriere. Hiney. Bum. And don’t forget tuchus. All of these seem completely acceptable to me. They’re words I would say in front of my own mother and even my mother-in-law.

I tell myself that I’m laying the groundwork for the years from now when he’ll want to try out swearing. I’ll need to channel my Lovely Bride – the smart one among us when it comes to big-picture parenting decisions – and tell him that an educated person knows better ways to express himself than to use common swear words. Not &#$@head but imbecile, moron, nitwit, nimrod or even pinhead. All wonderful, descriptive words, right?

It’s gotten a little better now that he’s old enough to show a little judgment. I think I’m making some headway in explaining that some kinds of talk are generally okay around his second-grade friends. Possible/questionable around Daddy. Not okay around Mommy or other grownups. Absolutely forbidden around grandparents. Seems reasonable, right?

The other day, another of my son’s buddies demonstrated his new skill: the hand-in-the-underarm fart noise trick. Charming. Maybe I’m jealous that I never learned to do that. (And now as a grownup, can I not make that noise because I have underarm hair?) I asked if his parents liked him doing this, and he said they didn’t mind. My eyebrows went up.

Enforcement on this one could be a real challenge. My rules don’t really apply to other kids when outside of my house.

“Just don’t do it around me,” I said. “It’s rude.”

Maybe if my son is old enough to learn the armpit-fart trick, he’s old enough to judge when he can do it or not.

Now what to do about my 4-year-old daughter? When we send her to the bathroom for potty talk, she giggles. She happily tromps off to the bathroom and then shouts out the window to the kids across the street.


2 responses to “Weenie Barfy Poopie Butt

  1. Ah, yes. We struggle with this, too. And here’s the kicker: for 99 times we can look appropriately stern, ignore the behavior, send them to the bathroom, or employ any other approved parenting strategy to address the poopie butt problem. But then, the planets tweak out of alignment and on that 100th time, we crack a smile, or worse, laugh ourselves! And all those efforts are just flushed away…

  2. I loved this!! I’ll have you know it sparked an interesting conversation at 6am w/ Matt! We have on occassion borrowed, your banishment to the bathroom for potty talk. It is great-because T usually doesn’t want to be in a room by himself currently, so it stops.
    I agree with you about the vast language possibilities to describe thoughts, actions, feelings, and others. A professor once said in a class- there are those dollars for my fine Catholic college education at work, that even though some of the common swear words or slang can do the trick- how wonderful it is that our language has so many words that can be used to describe or name things. But I do have a few favorite swear words that really do the job sometimes!! When T was about 3, I dropped something and said “dammit” and a few weeks later T did the same and w/ perfect intonation, shouted “damaged!” Phew, what a relief that I hadn’t used any other words to describe my disdain! I know the first time I hear him say “@$*hole” it will be because he heard it from me as that is my favorite curse. I hope that is still a few years off!

    Thanks for the early morning chuckle and some of us really do appreciate that K sticks her head out the window to say hello! Reminds us that our kids are not the only ones yelling out our house portholes!! By the way- Matt attempted to do the arm-fart trick and and was not successful nor did he feel that was appropriate for our kids to do- surprising on some level. However, I am the one who reminded him that one can just place your mouth on your forearm to do the trick… But I’ll let the kids find that out someday for themselves and you will probably hear them in the bathroom practicing that one!

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